Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Wikipedia:VPR)
Jump to: navigation, search
  Policy   Technical   Proposals   Idea lab   Miscellaneous  
Shortcuts:

New ideas and proposals are discussed here. Before submitting:

« Older discussions, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121
Centralized discussion
Proposals: policy other Discussions Ideas

Note: inactive discussions, closed or not, should be archived.


Proposal: creation of "style noticeboard"[edit]

Note: Dank has offered to the close this RfC upon its conclusion.

A user has proposed the creation of a "style noticeboard" (Wikipedia:Style noticeboard) at the MoS talk page, similar to the likes of the reliable sources noticeboard. He described the noticeboard in this manner: "a place where editors can raise and discuss specific situations, and get opinions on how to interpret the policy or guideline in the context of those specific situations". Such a noticeboard does not currently exist, and style issues are dealt with across a wide variety of labyrinthine MoS pages. The goal of the noticeboard is to allow for the centralised discussion of specific style issues at specific articles, so that users can come to consensus on how to interpret a specific piece of style guidance in our policies and guidelines, such as WP:AT and WP:MOS. Should such a noticeboard be created? RGloucester 18:10, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Support: style noticeboard[edit]

  1. Support – There is no reason for there not to be such a noticeboard. The present system is not very good. Discussions are scattered across tens of MoS pages, article talk pages, Wikiprojects, &c. The creation of this noticeboard would allow for centralised and organised discussion of style issues, so that they can be quickly resolved. As we already have a series of similar noticeboards, such as WP:RS/N and WP:OR/N, I believe that this proposal should go forward. I have created the proposed noticeboard page, modelled on WP:RS/N. Please see Wikipedia:Style noticeboard. RGloucester 18:15, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
    At this edit you originally opposed this idea. Can you explain whether this is a change of heart, or a different proposal, or what? Dicklyon (talk) 00:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
    It is merely a thought process. RGloucester 02:01, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  2. Support it would be helpful to have a place for people to ask specific style questions other than wt:mos. I think a central noticeboard is better than a giant "request for style guidance!!!!" template on talk pages throughout wikipedia, both for ease of management and for ease of locating past discussion, which is what I understand PBS to suggest. Not sure what's going on with the numbering here. AgnosticAphid talk 17:20, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  3. Mild support I have no problem whatsoever answering people's questions at WT:MoS, but a noticeboard might be easier for people to find. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:29, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  4. Support – I think WP needs a different venue for discussions about MoS issues. Often the discussions on talk pages (such as MOSNUM talk, in particular) can become overly long, and they can easily wander too far from the supposed topic of the talk page: changes to the MoS. Many threads on that talk page, indeed, have been about how editors should understand the existing MoS text, rather than proposals for changes to it. But as it stands, there is simply nowhere else to go to ask such questions. Archon 2488 (talk) 21:16, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  5. Support - A centralized noticeboard would be beneficial to getting help with style questions and getting outside opinions in style disputes.- MrX 21:28, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  6. Support Good idea, so long as it's watched by active knowledgeable editors. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 21:47, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  7. Support - A noticeboard would be easier for newbies to find and maybe a little easier to patrol, once we get past the initial re-routing posts to the new board. Mlpearc (open channel) 21:52, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  8. Support creation of this noticeboard; there were times I would have used it myself – had it been an option in my time of need. I am familiar with the cadre of personnel who generally comment on questions of Wikipedia styling and they are a competent creed who engender great confidence. Because of their collective professionalism, I expectantly anticipate that this noticeboard will quickly become the go-to example of a Wikipedia-thing "done well". Also, when you consider the stifling effect that discretionary sanctions have brought to so many talk pages, it becomes more apparent that neutral "sanctuaries of discourse" like this are needed things. Ironically, even Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style is subject to discretionary sanctions which cements my belief in the need for this noticeboard. Consider mine: strong support.--John Cline (talk) 03:33, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  9. Support – It would be a nice change to have a better, centralized place to bring up discussions concerning the Manual of Style rather than starting threads on one of the many different style talk pages. Dustin (talk) 00:39, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
    Comment - I'm abstaining, but it's It's worth noting that a note at the top of WP:VPP says: If you have a question about how to apply an existing policy or guideline, try the one of the many Wikipedia:Noticeboards. It says nothing about WT:MOS or any other talk page. ―Mandruss  01:57, 31 March 2015 (UTC) No longer abstaining. ―Mandruss  22:02, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
    Apparently that's as it should be, the MOS talk pages are for discussions about the MOS pages, not for general help with MOS applications. WP:PNB and {{noticeboard links}} list teahouse, help desk, etc. and also don't mention WT:MOS. –Be..anyone (talk) 00:32, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
    The first line at WP:PNB kinda sums it up. Mlpearc (open channel) 00:40, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  10. Support: Makes for more organized discussion of style guidelines, which are one of the most discussed areas of Wikipedia editing. Esquivalience t 03:13, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  11. Support as an attempt to centralize discussions which currently get spread all over the place. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 17:14, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
  12. Support: I understand this as a proposal to create a place to help people who have writing style questions. At the top of WT:MOS, it says: "This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Manual of Style page" but it has also served as a place to answer style questions. I think it is good to separate out those two functions. Inevitably there will sometimes be disagreements there, but it is good to keep them separate from discussion of what the MoS should say. It could turn into forum shopping, but better to expose style questions to people with an interest in writing style than leaving them on a seldom watched talk page. The people opposing seem to be talking about something else. If I'm missing something - let me know.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  00:47, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  13. Support: great plan. It will help bring consistency. AtsmeConsult 18:32, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  14. Support Per the above; obviously a good suggestion.--Ubikwit 連絡 見学/迷惑 19:09, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  15. Support: WP:Reference desk allows users to seek specific factual information that they may have trouble finding themselves in our articles. The proposed noticeboard would do the same for style guidelines and best practices. —174.141.182.82 (talk) 02:00, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  16. Support, let's give it a shot, there seems to be enough people who are willing to volunteer. Kharkiv07Talk 02:14, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  17. Support It sounds like a good idea. A place to get answers about style based on policy from uninvolved editors. AlbinoFerret 02:57, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  18. Support WT:MOS is a place to discuss the MOS itself, not an (official) place to ask questions. --Fauzan✆ talk✉ mail 14:38, 4 April 2015 (UTC)--Fauzan✆ talk✉ mail 14:38, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  19. Support MoS talk pages have always sufficed on those handful of occasions I needed to clarify a particular matter of style. I think it occurs to a lot of people naturally as the place to go in that, if one is questioning a given style guideline, it is probably because it seems unintuitive to them in some way, and they are thus correspondingly interested in whether or not the MoS page should be altered, or at least in discussing the issue in that context even if they aren't certain a change is called for. Outside that context, the VPP and the the help desk are options as well. All of that being said, I really see no substantial downside to setting aside a dedicated space for this sort of thing. So long as it's made clear that this is the space for discussing implementation of existing policy, not debating it. Other noticeboards that exist for procedural, technical, and behavioural matters manage to operate under this dichotomy and are generally seen as beneficial (if not essential) to greasing the wheels on quickly resolving various types of issues and bottlenecks. Some have cited forum shopping as a concern, but no one seems to suggesting that we suspend policy or allow for endless debate on maters that we already have guidelines for (the appropriate place for such discussion should remain the talk pages of the relevant MoS/policy pages, central discussion spaces, and so forth). To the extent anyone lands at this forum looking to shop their perspective, it will sink or swim on the basis of how it conforms to community consensus, exactly the way it should. Snow let's rap 01:46, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  20. Support seems a good idea, often advise and discussion on style issues can be all over the place. MilborneOne (talk) 15:55, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  21. Support, for much the same reason that Carrite (whom I deeply respect) has opposed it: "The Manual of Style is a beacon attracting obsessive sorts from far and wide to fight over dashes and capitalization". The current system is fragmented - style concerns are discussed in several different, obscure locations and can even involve one wikiproject's quirks becoming wikipedia-wide law, or different areas having mutually incompatible style rules - and this fragmentation makes it more likely that a small number of editors can get their own personal style-obsession regarded as a "consensus" and can then go about imposing that "consensus" on a much wider community. A single, centralised noticeboard would attract a wider audience and get a broader basis for any consensus. Doing without a proper discussion point won't make the (small, noisy minority of) problematic editors go away - the last decade of religious wars over minor points of style have shown us that. bobrayner (talk) 19:05, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
  22. Support: WT:MoS is for discussing proposed changes to the MoS itself, while a Style noticeboard would be for discussing interpretation and application of the MoS. I can see how there would be some overlap between the two arenas of discussion, but given how difficult it is to navigate the many MoS subpages (and related, non-MoS, pages), I believe a noticeboard would be more beneficial than detrimental. Xaxafrad (talk) 23:13, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
  23. Support - I only just realised that, while I'm prepared to man (or "woman") the board, I hadn't expressed why I'm in favour of it. One of the greatest problems I encountered, as regards the Wikipedia learning-curve, was that of having to dig through the WP and MoS guidelines in order to establish transliteration standards, common name standards, dashes vs hyphens, lower case as the standard as opposed to the conventions used in Western academic norms, English language variants... well, you name it, it isn't intuitive, and it certainly isn't easy to find the relevant guidelines or norms. It's difficult enough to get one's head around policies and guidelines, much less having to spend hours trying to decipher discrepancies between geographical nomenclature conventions from other conventions. For the sake of new users, it would serve as an obvious and straight-forward method of addressing their concerns. Even for the sake of experienced editors, few could claim to be all-rounders. Pooling our knowledge at an easily accessible noticeboard has to be a better approach than guesstimating, only to have your hand slapped. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 04:47, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
  24. Support as long as it's active. I think it would really service all editors and users very well. CookieMonster755 (talk) 21:46, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
  25. Support a one-year trial period. At the end of that year, if anyone feels the need, there can be an RfC (MfD?) to decide whether to keep or remove, using actual tangible data instead of the CRYSTAL that is pervading this discussion. This deserves a chance to work. ―Mandruss  22:02, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
  26. There are two reasons why I support this proposal. First, I think it will help prevent instruction creep at the MOS pages. Currently, whenever an issue related to style comes up, the only place to discuss it is at one of the various MOS guidelines. Since those talk pages are focused on discussing changes to the MOS pages themselves, any discussion quickly devolves into a question of "should the MOS be changed to say X?" or "We need to add something to the MOS to cover Y". However, often what is needed is not a change to current guidance, but a consensus as to the interpretation of it. I think the MOS guidance would become more stable and less contentious. The other reason is that I think it would help cut down on conflicts between MOS pages. We have many MOS pages, and they sometimes end up give conflicting advice. A Noticeboard would help highlight conflicts when they occur... If someone asks a question and gets conflicting answers pointing to different MOS pages, we will know that we have a conflict to resolve. Blueboar (talk) 19:23, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
  27. Support with conditions: I am concerned with the use of the term "noticeboard" in relation to this outlet, primarily because it implies complaints about the states of articles. I'd call it a "Style help desk" instead. ViperSnake151  Talk  16:17, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  28. Support – I believe the above arguments are cogent and although the below ones are likewise valid, I personally believe that a MoS Noticeboard, or Style Noticeboard (or "Style help desk", like Blueboar said above) is long overdue. The MoS talk page already serves as a de facto noticeboard anyway. Why not send those discussions to their appropriate place while keeping this talk page for exclusively discussing the content of the Manual of Style? To me, this is an obvious decision. To many, however, I suppose it obviously is not. Seeing as many of their arguments comprise concerns about beaurocracy creep, however, I find it difficult to classify this as a more convincing argument than the need for such a board. I consider these fears to be unfounded, and for the board to be justified in this circumstance. Such concerns are certainly worthwhile to consider; I've considered them, and find them insufficient. ―Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 13:44, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Oppose: style noticeboard[edit]

  1. Oppose per WP:CREEP, WP:NOTFORUM and de gustibus non est disputandum. Andrew D. (talk) 21:49, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. For style questions relating to individual articles, the place to encourage discussion is not on a new noticeboard, but on the talk pages of the relevant article (or template, category etc.). We should also encourage style-related questions to be raised within the various WikiProjects. I also agree with Andrew D.'s concerns, noted above. Neutralitytalk 23:34, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  3. Oppose We don't need yet another place to drag users and berate them when we disagree with them. If someone is being disruptive over style issues, we already have places to discuss that. If people want to have genuine, non-confrontational discussions of style issues, we already have places for that too. This board is unneeded, and more "noticeboards" are merely magnets for more drama. No thanks. --Jayron32 00:04, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
    Jayron32, your comment rests on a false premise. You must surly speak in jest when you suggest such nefarious motives; underpinning the creation of this noticeboard.--John Cline (talk) 04:06, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
    No where in my post did I mention any motive for creating this board. I don't really care why you want to create it, or what your motives are, and my oppose isn't based on what your motives are, because I am not a mind reader, and have no way to know your motives. I merely based my opposition the expected result of creating the board, based on the action at literally every other board at Wikipedia titled "noticeboard". What users do at anything named "noticeboard" is drag their enemies in for a good kangaroo court session. I could care less why you want to create this board. But because that's what every other single "noticeboard" is at Wikipedia, we don't need another one of those. I can only judge the likely future by the patterns of the past. And those patterns tell me this will be nothing except another dramah bord. No thanks. --Jayron32 02:42, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
    Thank you.--John Cline (talk) 03:36, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  4. oppose per Andrew D., WP:RS is a respected guideline, WP:MOS is a maze of twisty little passage, all alike, mainly existing to keep the contributors busy on something that won't cause havoc in the main namespace. –Be..anyone (talk) 10:08, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  5. oppose - This is interesting in theory, but I fear problematic in practice. I've worked in places where creative efforts and processes are reviewed often and the derision and debate is endless. Trained artistic professionals sometimes debate vehemently, and we want to invite a bunch of anonymous amateurs to do this?! I feel that creating a board where "artistic differences" are discussed will devolve into something that will make WP:ANI A.K.A. The Drama Board pale in comparison. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 17:11, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  6. Oppose per above It's a good idea, but I feel Wikipedia_talk:Manual of Style is "a place where editors can raise and discuss specific situations, and get opinions on how to interpret the policy or guideline in the context of those specific situations" in relation to the WP:MOS. If you ask a MOS-related question there about MOS someone will answer. --Psychotic Spartan 123 02:08, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
  7. Oppose since in light of his comment here, I can only interpret RGloucester's proposal as an attempt to prevent the MOS from influencing style decisions. WT:MOS serves the purpose, and if we want more central style guidance, trying to move that role further from the MOS makes no sense. I would consider the original proposal more favorably. Keep in mind that RGloucester has made his contempt for the MOS very clear and explicit; so what kind of style guidance does he have in mind; he says his edits are directed by God, so I suppose that's his source of style guidance, too? Dicklyon (talk) 06:37, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
  8. Seems like more bureaucracy and arguments. Stifle (talk) 09:25, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
  9. Oppose we already have the teahouse, help desk and village pump pages to ask at. We do not need the helping volunteers to be further spread out having to look at more pages. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:20, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
  10. Strongest possible oppose One of the most frightening proposals I've seen. "Neutrality" (near the top of this section) has it exactly right: changes to guidelines should be discussed on the respective branches of Talk:MOS, and questions about individual articles belong on the talk pages of those articles. When and if a particular issue proves itself to be wasting editor time on multiple articles, then it's time for that issue to come up at MOS for a possible change in the guidelines, to end that waste of time. What we DO NOT NEED is another place for disgruntled style warriors to forum-shop. If it matters enough for broad discussion, then that discussion should take the form of a consideration of a change to MOS; if it can't be expressed as a possible change to MOS, then it doesn't need broad discussion and should be discussed on the talk page of the article in question. EEng (talk) 15:06, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
    @EEng: We don't seem to be on the same page. The noticeboard is meant to address cases like this one: [1]. Lots of people show up to WT:MoS asking "What should I do?" "What's correct?" "Does Wikipedia have a rule about this?" The noticeboard would be for these questions, not for suggested changes to the MoS. Blueboar and RG have both confirmed below that this is what they meant. Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:54, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
    I guess I was imagining this as mostly as a place where disputes would be brought, rather than (as in your example) simple, probably noncontroversial inquiries. That feels less objectionable to me, but still I wonder whether Village Pump isn't enough. What's the volume of such inquiries? In fact, that gives me an idea... how about if those who see a need for this new board link to a half-dozen recent inquiries (somewhere...) that would have been better handled under this proposal. If there's really a need for this, that ought to be easy. EEng (talk) 18:48, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
    The concern that the creation of the noticeboard would address is that there might be many more people with questions who simply don't know that they're supposed to go to WT:MoS to ask them. It's not that creating a noticeboard would improve the quality of the answers (which is already quite high); it's that it would improve accessibility. If a new Wikieditor has heard about the RSN noticeboard and the V noticeboard then he or she is more likely to suppose that there might be a style/English/writing mechanics noticeboard (and vice versa) than that he or she should go and ask at WT:MoS. As for examples, I did provide a few links in the discussion section below, but the list is certainly not exhaustive. I just picked an archive page more or less at random and looked around for something representative. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:40, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
    After watching the discussion develop for some time now, I've decided to let my oppose stand. The argument that there's an unfilled need for a place for people to ask where-is-it-in-MOS questions seems to me weak, but I'm absolutely terrified at providing another place for editors to pontificate on split infinitives, serial commas, and so on -- and that will happen, guaranteed, on any page with "style" in its title, no matter what's intended. EEng (talk) 02:49, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
  11. Oppose; this is a recipe for more bureaucracy, disputes, drama, and chaos - all of which this area has historically managed to attract even without a dedicated noticeboard. Ncmvocalist (talk) 15:17, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
  12. Oppose There are existing venues for asking for help with style. A noticeboard to discuss and establish consensus about style is likely to contribute to the divisiveness and unlikely to be beneficial. wctaiwan (talk) 17:32, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
    Agree, and melding what you say with what I said earlier, we shouldn't have two tiers of MOS-like guidance -- some actually embodied in the text of MOS, and some embodied in some vague consensus you can only find by trawling through discussions on this new noticeboard. If we want to do something a certain way projectwide, that should be memorialized in MOS, and the various branches of Talk:MOS are the place to decide on that. EEng (talk) 17:57, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
    If one looks at the noticeboard, it makes it clear that its answers are not policy. They are merely third opinions. These would not constitute a body of precedent, or whatever. The purpose of the noticeboard is to allow people to ask questions about style guidance, just as with WP:RS/N and reliable sources. This is not about "memorialising" or "changing" the MoS. It is about directing people to obscure MoS pages, showing them the guidance, and explaining it to them, in reference to particular piece of text. It is about answering people's questions in a centralised and easy to access location. This is a great misinterpretation of the proposal. WP:RS/N does not override WP:RS. RGloucester 18:00, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
    Oppose, unless I'm missing something, this seems like something that's best to gather consensus for on the talk page of the article. Kharkiv07Talk 00:52, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
    Moving to support Kharkiv07Talk 02:13, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    I think you may well be missing something. The noticeboard is meant to be for asking style questions in specific instances, e.g. "I was working on article X, and found X. I was wondering if Wikipedia has a guideline about how to present this text, as the present styling seems off". It is not meant as a substitute for article talk pages, just as WP:RS/N is not. RGloucester 01:02, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
    The proposed noticeboard is meant to address cases like this one [2], not proposed changes to the MoS or other pages. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:48, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  13. Oppose - The Manual of Style is a beacon attracting obsessive sorts from far and wide to fight over dashes and capitalization. This new notice board would give them increased leverage over productive content writers who may disagree with their idiosyncrasies and compulsions. We have adequate mechanisms for ensuring reasonable consistency of form already, this new noticeboard would be CREEP towards disruption. Carrite (talk) 15:13, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  14. Oppose - What Wikipedia needs least is another drama board. Guy1890 (talk) 02:49, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    I think that's overly cynical, fundamentally at odds with Wikipedia's bedrock principles, and unconstructive. If I'm wrong, those who feel that way are doing the project a major disservice by failing to actively and seriously advocate the elimination of all "drama boards" (I'm talking about an RfC at WP:VPR, not randomly placed negative comments). Sorry for being blunt, I don't wish to start trouble, but I think it really needed to be said. It also applies to many other discussions, past and future. ―Mandruss  03:07, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    Since when does opposing the addition of yet another drama board mean that one must oppose all drama boards? Quite frankly, when you've been editing here more than a year or so, you'll eventually come around to one of two opinions...that many (not all) of Wikipedia's drama boards help Wikipedia move forward with improving an online encyclopedia or they hinder its further development. Live & learn my friend... Guy1890 (talk) 22:38, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  15. Oppose per Carrite mostly. Other 'drama boards'are at least in theory supposed to relate directly to content issues - the distinguishing characteristic of most MoS-related drama is how little it actually matters to readers, who one can safely assume are more interested in relevant information than they are in whether an article does or doesn't conform to a self-contradictory 'manual' that could usefully be reduced to half a dozen short pages. Or to a simple instruction to write for the expected readership. Get that right, and 'style' issues are generally of little real consequence. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:50, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    You seem to be reducing the entirety of the MoS to a handful of useful recommendations that are mere suggestions. In reality, it's a major content guideline that represents a staggering amount of community consensus formulated meticulously over countless broadly-representative discussions and representing the solutions and best practices with regard to technical constraints, language policy, and accessibility issues, to name just three of the critical areas it provides consensus and consistency for. Snow let's rap 03:17, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  16. Oppose because of flawed premise. Instead, policies and guidelines should be kept as simple as possible, and use clear language. Samsara 08:54, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  17. Oppose If you are so concerned about MOS that you think a new noticeboard is needed try upping your meds, instead. I'm not handing anyone a cudgel to go along with their obsession. Chris Troutman (talk) 13:22, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    Does WP:RS/N imply an "obsession" with RS? Does WP:NOR/N imply an "obsession" with no original research? It is simply a matter of answering questions. It seems like many editors here are challenging the existence of the MoS at all, and if that's the case, they ought do something about it. Otherwise, given that we have an MoS and that it is a guideline, we must provide clarity. RGloucester 13:57, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    Verifiability, of which reliable sourcing is an essential component, and No original research, are fundamental content policies, along with several others. Having noticeboards to discuss in central places such critical content matters is a necessity. On the other hand, while having a MOS is nice, and some of the suggestions in it are good, it's not so fundamental as to require a noticeboard. It's not critical if some obscure MOS advice is not exactly followed, it's a minor inconvenience at best; the same cannot be said about NPOV, BLP, V and such essential policies. Cenarium (talk) 18:13, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    The people who come to WT:MoS asking for help with style issues think that those issues are important enough to be worth their time. Here's one case: [3] Don't they deserve a place to do it? What about the people who want help but don't know that WT:MoS is the unofficial place to go? Wikipedia funnels new users with questions toward noticeboards, and we've already seen that they work. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:31, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    For people who need help? Surprisingly, there is WP:HELPDESK. Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:38, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    Yeah but it doesn't seem to be drawing the style questions. I plugged "spelling" and "punctuation" and "engvar" into its archive search and they don't seem to deal with those issues the way we see them at WT:MoS. Did I miss something? Darkfrog24 (talk) 23:10, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    Direct them to help, we have a whole desk for it, if you don't want to answer there. You can even put up a banner. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:13, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
    Actually I don't mind answering on WT:MoS. The problem that the noticeboard would solve is that the newcomers and even veteran Wikieditors might not know that WT:MoS is the place to go for style help. A noticeboard would be easier for them to find. As for the help desk, what about the part where 39 out of 40 help desk requests have nothing to do with my area of expertise? We don't make NPOV specialists wade through three dozen style, R, and V threads. That's what noticeboards are for. Darkfrog24 (talk) 02:03, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
    Experts? What experts. Helpful people fine, but experts? Don't help those you don't want to help, help those you do. Alanscottwalker (talk) 07:21, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
    I mean editing, proofreading and linguistics experts. There are people, such as myself, who do this for a living and are willing to share their expertise. Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:26, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
    The concept of "experts" is elitist and antithetical to the project. You have no expertise here. RGloucester 19:37, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
    Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language is the place for linguistic sharing (it can use help), and Wikipedia:WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors is always begging for proofreaders. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:58, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
    WP:EXPERTS No, expertise is not antithetical to the project. Guild of Copy Editors is fine, but a noticeboard would specifically help people with specific style questions rather than improve articles one by one. Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:57, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
  18. Oppose, per WP:CREEP and reasons stated by Neutrality.--RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 19:08, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  19. Oppose - I agree with Carrite, above. CorinneSD (talk) 01:54, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  20. Oppose There is already far too much argument about MOS issues, and no indication that any good would result from providing another forum for enthusiasts to promote their favored style. Johnuniq (talk) 23:01, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  21. Oh God no.—S Marshall T/C 12:34, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
  22. I lean this direction per WP:CREEP. To explain myself further, my thought is that there may (often) come times where an editor asks for help at this proposed board, at least one person answers, and then a second answers, where the second somewhat contradicts the first. The likely scenario in my mind is that they hash it out on this noticeboard about what they think is the correct answer, but then nothing is fedback into the MOS. Alternatively, they don't settle it, then invite discussion on WT:MOS... at which point you should just have left the question at WT:MOS.

    I do see and agree with a concern that there are a lot of style talk pages lying around where one could ask a question about style but either a) get an answer from limited persons or b) not get an answer at all, both of which are negative experiences. If this is a real problem (and I might suggest that it is), then perhaps there should be some discussion about consolidating the MOS talk pages instead of creating this noticeboard. --Izno (talk) 01:26, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

    People don't ask questions on the talk page very frequently because at the top, it says the page is only for discussing improvements to the MoS. When people do ask, I've seen what you describe in the first paragraph a couple of times, but far more often the question is asked and answered and that's the end of the issue. I see a noticeboard as a place where people would be encouraged to ask questions about how to write for Wikipedia. Our MoS is complicated, as most thorough manuals of style are. It seems a kindness to provide a place for people to ask questions.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  01:49, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
    To back up, what SB has just said, since this proposal was initiated, four people have come to WT:MoS with questions: [4] [5] [6]. They got straightforward answers with no debate. Even though the guy asking about "birthplace" got different answers, they were based on different interpretations of the question ("If you mean X, do Y." "If you mean Z, do Q.") and did not contradict each other. That's more typical Darkfrog24 (talk) 05:17, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

    @SchreiberBike: What a page self-describes itself as is irrelevant to the discussion. If there's consensus found, the purpose of the page of will change, so this argument is specious. Finding a place to ask questions, and having this "noticeboard" be that place, thusly does not follow.

    @Darkfrog24: And I have seen each and every one of those go by on my watchlist (as I do watch WT:MOS), which is why I did not dispute the evidence that there is a common kind of question that people will ask that does not seem to require much action beyond "here's where to go/what to do". What does not immediately follow is that there must be a noticeboard for this question to be asked at, above and beyond WT:MOS (which seems to do just fine). WP:BROKE is relevant. And I have not seen evidence to the contrary that there is anything broken, because the supporters of this proposal cannot show evidence of a non-action regarding this kind of question; a poll of users might be interesting in this regard. Show me evidence that WT:MOS actively causes users not to ask their question (whether the name of the title is simply enough to invoke non-action or if the users associated with the MOS cause non-action on the part of a question-seeking-answer user). --Izno (talk) 14:38, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

    Alternatively, I happen to subscribe to the view presented by User:Samsara at #Does this even need community approval?. Be bold, put a noticeboard together, see if people actually do use it or silently accept its use (if even they don't agree with its existence). Add it to a nav template here, another there. If it gains traction (because editors at WT:MOS suggest its use or for other reasons), then that's an improvement of the encyclopedia. --Izno (talk) 14:59, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
    The noticeboard isn't meant to change the way questions are answered; it's meant to be easy to find. As Mandruss points out in his comment, new users are directed to noticeboards for help. The idea is that there may be many people who have style questions but don't know that they're supposed to ask them at WT:MoS, so naturally we don't have evidence of how many people give up before asking. Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:05, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
    Let's not forget the many subpages, as well, which greatly complicate matters. RGloucester 17:18, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
    @Izno:I find some reasons to be suspicious of this project too, but not enough to reject the idea. When I started on Wikipedia, I looked for a place to ask questions but didn't find one. Instead I tried to read the massive MoS and I made mistakes.
    How about a trial period? Put up such a noticeboard, make it well known, and see how it works. After six months, a new RfC here to continue or stop. The problems people talk about could come true, but it also might help editors and make the writing on Wikipedia better.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  17:42, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
    I personally think that would be a good idea, provided we could find an administrator to close this RfC. I can very quickly get the board up and running. RGloucester 17:49, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
    I just !voted for such a trial, and I got to believe I was introducing the clever idea for a few minutes before I found this. I suggested one year, and I think that much time would be necessary to get sufficient experience and data for any RfC. Those who like the idea might wish to modify their !votes to specify it. ―Mandruss  22:24, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
  23. Per Carrite. I have lost more productive editing time over the years having to deal with obsessive-MOS types seeking to force the entirety of Wikipedia into their own preferred styles than for nearly any other reason. As Carrite notes, creating a centralized forum that could offer them greater leverage to impact the far larger population of editors will cause more harm than good. Resolute 02:50, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
  24. Oppose: Where editors cannot work things out on an article's discussion page, the discussion page of the page of the pertinent MOS page already serves this purpose. If an editor behaves disruptively on such an issue, we have the administrators noticeboards.—Finell 02:54, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
  25. Oppose, for the reasons given by Carrite. Kanguole 12:31, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
    So, we seem to be getting a lot of "per Carrite" points here. Please, elucidate. What exactly is Carrite's point? Such a noticeboard would not give "leverage" over anyone, and I don't see how it would. MoS is a guideline. RGloucester 15:15, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
  26. Oppose per Carrite, and despite the remark directly above this one I think his point is well expressed and does not require expansion, which is why so many opposers have cited it. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:54, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
    How is that an expansion of Carrite's diminutive negative observation? No one is asking you – or any of those 'opposing' per Carrite's CRYSTAL prediction of how it will inevitably turn into some form of hissy-fit-come-leverage-board – to involve yourself in manning (or wo-manning) the noticeboard. If it fails, it fails. Failure to render assistance and become an energy sinkhole for those willing to oversee the board will become self-evident quickly enough. You'll have to pardon my stupidity if I still fail to see the Carrite argument as any form of well expressed anything other than cynicism. By the same token, the NPOVN and RSN should also be removed as a waste of valuable time and energy for those "seeking leverage". All of the established noticeboards are equally, if not more, prone to abuse. Does that automatically make them unviable? --Iryna Harpy (talk) 05:55, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
    I have to says your calm, well expressed, and entirely logical and civil response has convinced me he is wrong and this noticeboard would not spawn the exact sort of problems Carrite describes. Well done. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:05, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
  27. Oppose: I am going to say echoing Carrite and iterate specifics. Their quote: The attraction of obsessive sorts from far and wide to fight over dashes and capitalization. <snip> ... with their idiosyncrasies and compulsions. Two editors immediately come to my mind that I encountered because I employ an unusual grammar at times. I used an absolute adjective in an informal vote process, not in an article, even. And was pinged and critisised and teased in two different places. These are the type that would gleefullly dwell on such a board. I also agree that we have avenues now in place: start with the Teahouse, the article talk page, Village Pump, and since I am an active member of so many WikiProjects, I know they are a good resource. (Make an attempt to create a different style for Dog articles, for example with their rather stringent style, images, gallery size, infobox, sources already in place and you will get advice...). Fylbecatulous talk 17:45, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
    I don't see how what you just said has anything to do with the Manual of Style, or even "style" in general... RGloucester 17:59, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
    Then I shall just state: oppose per WP:CREEP. Just above you said: "Please, elucidate", if one was using Carrite's statement as reason. If it is not the type of words you wanted, so be it. I still oppose per Carrite... Fylbecatulous talk 11:38, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  28. Oppose per Carrite. Wikipedia does not need a uniform style, which this noticeboard seems to imply, and will be used to enforce. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:29, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
    Now I'm just baffled. This noticeboard has nothing to do with "enforcement". It has no power. It is answering questions. Like it or now, we do have a manual of style. It isn't "uniform" because nothing on Wikipedia is uniform. It exists, however...This is just incomprehensible. RGloucester 14:09, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
    I fear it will be used as a staging ground for self-appointed MOS enforcers. MOS aficionados definitely desire style uniformity, some even arguing that anything less makes us look ridiculous. Mandruss, 13 April 2015, offers a possibly reasonable compromise. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:15, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
    I'm perfectly fine with a trial period. RGloucester 21:42, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  29. Oppose. The MoS requires internal consistency within articles, not consistency across Wikipedia: "Style and formatting should be consistent within an article, though not necessarily throughout Wikipedia." A style board might be used to try to force consistency across the project. If people have questions about the meaning of anything in the MoS, they can ask on that talk page. Also, volunteers are spread too thinly across the various boards as it is. Sarah (SV) (talk) 04:09, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  30. Oppose per the reasons Andrew D. brought up, especially WP:CREEP. APerson (talk!) 14:46, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  31. Oppose per WP:CREEP, The current model works, edit, disagree leads to discussion in article talk page. during the discussion MOS is cited, if a party thinks MOS is wrong they can go to that talk page and discuss changing it. a noticeboard would just create a place for WikiLawyers to argue instead of editors to discuss. Bryce Carmony (talk) 17:26, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  32. Oppose per Andrew D and Sarah. Ealdgyth - Talk 16:37, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
  33. Oppose I think the current system works. The separate talk pages give some structure and people know where to go for certain topics. Fnagaton 14:02, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Discussion: style noticeboard[edit]

I will oppose this proposal if it includes WP:AT as there is a perfectly good process for discussing Article titles Wikipedia:Requested moves and having a second place to discuss such things is a bad idea. -- PBS (talk) 20:23, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

This is not about moving an article. This is about asking for clarification on style guidance, just as RS/N is for asking clarification as to whether a source is reliable. RGloucester 21:04, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Yeah... I could see a style question that relates to an article title being raised at the new noticeboard... and what WP:AT says would logically have to factor into any answer to that question (Since a title is involved). Like other noticeboards, the proposed noticeboard is for asking questions and getting opinions... it won't issue "rulings". Blueboar (talk) 02:09, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I have similar thoughts. To me, it isn't a problem that someone might ask a style related question at this noticeboard that they could have asked at a number of other places, like: the article's talk page, the teahouse, or Wikipedia:Requested moves – what matters is that they receive accurate information they can understand, and properly use. For example if their query did relate to a desire to move a page to another title, a quality answer would invariably include mentioning that Wikipedia:Requested moves is the correct page for advancing such a request. I do not see anything counterproductive with this noticeboard rendering such service.--John Cline (talk) 08:36, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Another example showed up in the past twenty-four hours: [7]. This should serve both as an indicator of the kind of problem that this noticeboard might solve and the efficiency with which such problems are currently handled. The way I see it, the advantage of a noticeboard is that it might be easier to find. While the Wikieditors who come to WT:MoS with questions of this kind see them answered promptly and thoroughly, it might not occur to everyone that it is okay to ask such questions at WT:MoS. What I expect is that if this noticeboard goes up, we'd do the exact same thing but just do it there instead of at WT:MoS. Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:28, 30 March 2015 (UTC) @Mandruss: raises a good point. I think that if this motion does not carry, we should modify the note at the top of VPP to direct users with style questions to WT:MoS. That would make the status quo more official. If WT:MoS is then drowned in new questions, we can revisit the noticeboard idea. Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:35, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

Oppose – That's not what the MoS page is for. It isn't a noticeboard, and it cannot be listed amongst noticeboards. It is only for discussing changes to the MoS. Instead, I would suggest that people be redirected to the help desk. RGloucester 03:59, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
@RGloucester: Maybe you should remove the bold "oppose" from your comment. Someone skimming the conversation might think that you are opposing the creation of the noticeboard. I am not at this time formally proposing that we direct style questions to the MoS but I plan to if this motion does not carry. As for said line or two, we already answer style questions there and it doesn't much disrupt regular business. As you can see from my comment, it would also allow us to collect information that could be used to revisit the creation of a noticeboard. Darkfrog24 (talk) 23:40, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Oppose – Unacceptable. Style questions do not belong at the MoS talk page. RGloucester 23:43, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Well we got another one there just today [8]. It doesn't seem to be hurting anything, though I agree that a centralized, well-publicized noticeboard would be a better place. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:40, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Darkfrog24 is correct, it's potentially misleading to use a boldfaced "oppose" as a substitute for "I disagree with the preceding comment", which you've now done twice, RGloucester. ―Mandruss  01:52, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
I oppose his proposal. This discussion is not about support for my proposal. RGloucester 03:19, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Opinion: If this noticeboard is created and then goes horribly wrong, it will likely be because its respondents had the same mindset as the opposers here—that they’re not there to simply answer questions, but to make decisions. Which they shouldn’t. —174.141.182.82 (talk) 02:11, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

I fail to see how it could go "horribly wrong". As with other noticeboards of the same ilk (NPOVN, RSN, etc.), a style noticeboard would fulfil a need for having somewhere to consult with other editors who have MOS experience. There are a multitude of MOS guidelines/accepted standards that are extremely difficult to find unless you've been working a specific area of Wikipedia for a considerable time. Consulting on a centralised noticeboard is not the subject of sanctions unless a user is FORUMSHOPPING, which is a pre-existing problem with any noticeboards. Considering that the majority of new posts to similar boards end up being archived without any clear outcomes, it's hardly a precedent for hard and fast "decisions" to be laid down as a 'written in stone' outcome. --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:28, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
  • As Monty845 suggested below, how would people feel about Wikipedia:Style help desk instead of Wikipedia:Style noticeboard? That seems less like a drama board and more like the Wikipedia:Help desk which generally works well. It would be a place for people to ask and answer style questions and a place for people to get advice when there's a disagreement. We could specifically disallow discussion of changes to the MoS and it would have zero power. Approving something like this for a trial period might be a good idea. I don't think it will, but it could turn into a toxic cesspool of evil; so how about trying it for six months and only continuing it if it passes a new RfC?  SchreiberBike | ⌨  20:50, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Oppose – The proposed noticeboard must be a noticeboard, as with other noticeboards. There is no reliable sources help desk, and there should not be a style help desk. There should be a noticeboard, per WP:PNB. This noticeboard proposal is already a place where discussion of changes to the MoS are strictly disallowed, and where the discussions have "zero power". Please do not skewer the proposal into irrelevance. RGloucester 22:02, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
If the people with questions have a well-publicized place to go for help then what's the difference? A noticeboard would be better because that's Wikipedia's existing format and would be easier for new guys to find, but what's this vehemence? RG, what do you consider to be the advantage of noticeboard format over help desk format? I'm also not clear on how a help desk would be any more or less prone to drama. We'd still be dealing with the same straightforward questions, which would have the same answers. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:14, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
I believe we should use the established WP:PNB conventions for noticeboards. There is no justification for creating parallel new structures, which would make the whole thing for confusing. "Help desk format" is non-existent. This is noticeboard for policy and guidelines, and should follow the standard format for that type of noticeboard. To be frank, I hope that the closing administrator takes into account that much of the opposition, including this hair-splitting about "noticeboards", "enforcement", &c. is incomprehensible. RGloucester 16:38, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Where to place the discussion[edit]

Another issue is the style that the proposed notice board can take, I suggest that it would be better to follow the method used for WP:RM/RfC, rather than the WP:RS/N. Ie the discussions remain on the talk page of the articles rather than being placed in a central area. -- PBS (talk) 20:23, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

That's not the purpose of this noticeboard. RGloucester 21:04, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Can you further explain this suggestion? Exactly what sort of notice board do you propose? Is what you suggest that if someone has a style question about the article "pizza" that they put their suggestion at Pizza:talk/noticeboard? That seems like it defeats the purpose of creating a centralized place that people can ask style questions. AgnosticAphid talk 21:58, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
Exactly, AgnosticAphid. I cannot understand this suggestion. The purpose of the proposed noticeboard is to allow for editors to request a third opinion on style-related questions in a neutral space, as with RS/N. RS/N is of great use for this purpose, and I see no reason why this similar page would not be of such use. Discussion on article talk pages are important, but third opinions are essential to resolving localised disputes. RGloucester 22:04, 28 March 2015 (UTC)
I am not sure what a style noticeboard would achieve that isn't already covered via Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Wikipedia style and naming. GregKaye 10:35, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
GregKaye the current RfC you mention is for proposals like this, things that would change the styling manuals or naming conventions. Typically they take place at WT:MOS or whatever. Those RfC are not intended to discuss how implementing MOS would affect the content of a specific article. -- PBS (talk) 15:53, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
An RfC is not practical in every situation, of course. Many editors can resolve their discrepancies within days of receiving accurate information within collegial discourse. They do in fact, often use any of a number of noticeboards, they resolve issues in a few days, instead of thirty, and then they move on. Also, before selling too many shares in RfC efficacy, let me say that I filed an RfC a few months ago. One editor responded, and an admin closed it after 30 days; opining that the one response was reasonable, of which I agreed. When you consider all of the specialized noticeboards that are currently in productive use,[9] It is counter-intuitive to speculate that something as specialized as "Wikipedia styling" wouldn't benefit from a noticeboard as equally as the others aforelinked, and counterproductive to impede forward progress for the sake of obstruction; in my opinion at least.--John Cline (talk) 13:12, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
John Cline my experience of the reliable sources notice board is one is lucky if a conversation involves more than a handful of editors eg the last one I initiated:RN/N § Tudor Place -- PBS (talk) 15:53, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
The way RM works is that a template is placed in a section on the article's talk page. It is then listed by the bot onto the RM page (see WP:RM#Current discussions). People who like to participate in RMs are presented with a current list to watch, while those who are interested in the article will be watching the talk page, so it encourages more input from both those interested in the issue in general and by those interested in the article. RM is similar to that of an RfC in that discussions are not centralised but placed on the article's talk page. I am not suggesting using either RM or RfC, for this proposal, but the RM model is I think superior to that of the notice board as the conversation is kept close to the subject of the conversation and it is easily available for future reference either on the talk page of the article or in its archives. -- PBS (talk) 15:53, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I strongly agree with PBS that a RM model would provide an efficient way of providing a central point of reference to relevant discussion some of which might even be located on the talk page of the same project page. Perhap it is relevant to note that issues of style in wiki are something that go beyond Wikipedia. I would be interested if an RM model could be extended to cover content such as commons. I wouldn't be surprised if there may be plenty of commons and other editors who would appreciate the existence of this type of notice board, either of a form that just covered Wikipedia or that worked across projects. GregKaye 16:19, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
An "RM" model defeats the purpose of this proposal. An "RM" is about a request for a change to a specific article. This noticeboard is about requesting third opinions on the interpretation of style guidance in a neutral space away from a dispute. The whole purpose of this noticeboard is to avoid the "closeness" you are speaking about, as it is that closeness which leads to disputes. Please note that the proposed noticeboard, WP:SNB, requires that a link to the noticeboard discussion be placed on the relevant article talk pages. All editors will be informed. RGloucester 16:57, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
RGloucester , the "neutral space away from a dispute" idea gives me the heebee jeebees as I think that this could be used in behaviours like forum shopping. The RM format might simply state the nature of the discussion with indication being given to the location of the discussion. GregKaye 13:09, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Right now, people come to the MoS talk page asking, "Should I hyphenate this? Where?" "Should I capitalize this or use lowercase?" "Does the MoS have a rule about this?" Here are some examples: [10] [11] [12] I'm guessing that this noticeboard would be for people with these questions. Frankly, I don't mind answering them at WT:MoS (though Wavelength usually beats me to it, heh) but a noticeboard like the RSN and V boards would probably be easier for people to find. RG, Blueboar, other proponents, is this what you mean the noticeboard to do? Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:17, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

That's correct. Instead of having discussion scattered across WT:MOSNUM, WT:MOS, MOS:BIO, &c., have one centralised noticeboard for asking such questions as these. RGloucester 18:48, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Ecactly. Blueboar (talk) 00:31, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  • @Neutrality: No one is suggesting a depreciation of talk pages. However, many and most talk pages have few watchers, if any. It is also true that disputes often require third opinions if they are to be resolved. Talk page discussion is always the first step, but what is the next step? That should be the style noticeboard, which would provide a neutral space watched by many editors for specific style questions, just as RS/N does. RS/N does not supplant talk page discussion, and neither would this noticeboard. As it is, people are already seeking advice across many guideline and policy talk pages, as mentioned above. The noticeboard would provide a transparent and strictly defined space for people asking for such advice. RGloucester 00:06, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
    • The "next step" would be a RFC, or a note on the relevant Wikiproject, or Wikipedia:Third opinion. I disagree with creating yet another process when we already have multiple processes. Duplication is, all other things being equal, a bad thing. Neutralitytalk 04:01, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
RfCs last thirty days, and are not useful for answering quick style-related questions. Wikiprojects can be useful, but do not provide a structured and quick format for answering such questions, and are inherently non-neutral spaces. 3O, once again, is not structured to help with the specific problem that this noticeboard is trying to solve. This proposal is for something more like the reference desk or help desk, not a request system for direction intervention in the article in question. It simply an attempt to centralise discussions that are already occurring in outlying MoS pages. RGloucester 04:17, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  • @Dicklyon: It is very odd that you think that I "hate" the MoS, given that I spend most of my content work time on copyediting and enforcing MoS recommendations in various articles. This proposal will obviously not reduce the "impact" of the "MoS". Nothing could "reduce its impact" other than a stripping of guideline status, which no one in his right mind would even consider. The purpose of this noticeboard is to ensure that the MoS is clear, and that its prescriptions are followed. However, I think there is a fundamental problem, and that's that you are interpreting "MoS" to mean a group of editors who support your interpretation of the MoS. The proposed noticeboard sits in a neutral space. It must be in such a neutral space, or else it will loose credibility to petty squabbles amongst different factions. Disputes about style rage across the encylopaedia, and have done since time immemorial — the response to these disputes is not to continue with such attacks as the one you've written into your "oppose" comment. The goal of this noticeboard is serve as a reference desk for style questions, nothing more. Wikipedia policy and guidelines do not change because of this proposal. It will merely be easier for editors to access the MoS, which is a dense document spread out over tens of pages. RGloucester 06:54, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
The best way to ensure that your voice is heard is to support the formation of the noticeboard and provide answers to the questions of those seeking them, not to squelch the proposal for the sake of vengeance. I can assure you that I will not be answering questions at WP:SNB if it is formed, as I recognise that my name is tainted. RGloucester 06:57, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

Volunteers are obviously needed[edit]

Without volunteers watching this page; prepared to respond, this noticeboard cannot be the resource envisioned. For those so comprised, please consider adding Wikipedia:Style noticeboard to your watchlist now, and let's hope to see more than thirty who are willing[13] Thank you.--John Cline (talk) 09:15, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Done. I plan to participate if this proposal carries. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:19, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I added it my watchlist and will help where I can. - MrX 21:31, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  • On-board. Mlpearc (open channel) 21:53, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
  • +1 lurker. ―Mandruss  05:47, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Sounds like fun and an opportunity to help people and help make the writing on Wikipedia better.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  22:33, 1 April 2015 (UTC)
  • On my watchlist. Lemme know how I can help. AtsmeConsult 00:05, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
  • +1 (for several days already, but making it 'official'). --Iryna Harpy (talk) 21:57, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

It is usually easy to get a bunch of people to sign up for such a list, but it in no way guarantees that there will actually be broad particpation. Many inactive, half-dead WikiProjects have membership lists with dozens of names on them. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:57, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Well for my own part, I already do my bit answering questions at WT:MoS. It would be nice to have a clearer and more organized place to do it, but a few of the people here, like SchreiberBike, already have multi-year track records. Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:20, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

What this board would actually do[edit]

I was against this idea at first, but then I got confirmation about what it actually is.

Right now, people already come to WT:MoS with questions like "Does Wikipedia have a policy about this?" "Another editor is doing X; is that against the rules?" "Why did so-and-so revert my changes?" "What's the right way to present this word in this variety of English?" While we've been having this conversation, two such individuals have raised such issues at WT:MoS. [14] [15]

So if you're concerned about drama... 1) You'll notice that their questions were answered clearly, briefly and without debate or argument. This is typical. 2) They're asking about things like whether "modeling" has one L or two; making the MoS shorter wouldn't help with that. 3) The demand for a noticeboard isn't coming from MoS regulars and style experts; it's meant to serve the demonstrated needs of those who wish to consult MoS regulars and style experts. This is about replacing an unofficial system with an official one, using a format that we've already seen to be effective on WP:RSN and WP:NPOVN. 4) It's the threads about changes to the MoS that tend to get everyone's back up, and the noticeboard would not be dealing with those. Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:04, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Does this even need community approval?[edit]

Since it doesn't sound like this board will actually have any special powers, I'm not sure that its creation needs community approval. It's essentially just a WikiProject for MoS discussion. So anyone should feel free to start one if they so desire. The more interesting question is probably whether it will have enough active users to stay alive. Samsara 02:38, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Of course it requires community approval, as it will not be a "WikiProject", but a noticeboard under WP:PNB. The community must decide whether it wants such a noticeboard. If the board doesn't have community consensus, it won't be able to function effectively. RGloucester 02:41, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, well, that's the kind of statement that makes me suspicious of the direction you want to take with this. It seems to me that if there is really a need for this, it could be run at a lower level of privilege and then promoted once it's proven to have traction. Forcibly injecting it as a new cog into a working machine, well, let's just say it's not to everyone's taste. Samsara 03:08, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
I understand your concern, but I simply don't think it would be appropriate to start something like this without having the community behind it. You can look at my mock-up, at WP:STEIN. It is ready to go, and I could've just started it up the bat. However, I really don't think that's appropriate. As you can see, there is opposition, though I think most of the opposition is misguided. Not having consensus may result in a certain sabotage, I imagine. RGloucester 03:37, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Actually, most of the issues we'd address wouldn't require the formation of any new consensus. All three of the people who've asked style questions during the time we've had this discussion have had straightforward "This is what the rule is"/"This is the policy you were thinking of"/"Here's the page you want" answers. The only way I see the noticeboard needing to form any consensus would be if there were a question of how to interpret a rule to fit a specific case. We've gotten a few of those in the past.
RG, she's got a point. Now that the discussion's ongoing, we should abide by the outcome, but you or Blueboar could have just done it and then taken it down if a consensus ever formed against it. That is allowed. Darkfrog24 (talk) 05:10, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Whether it is "allowed" or not is irrelevant. It is wrong, and flies in the face of the basis of this encylopaedia, which is WP:CONSENSUS. If the community doesn't want a noticeboard, it won't get one. If it does want one, it will. One cannot just circumvent the usual processes because one feels one knows better than everyone else. That would be atrocious behaviour. I do not want any changes to Wikipedia policies or processes that have not attained consensus. They are recipes for disaster, and result in the likes of the Esperanza debacle. RGloucester 05:14, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Actually WP:BOLD is as much a part of the basis of Wikipedia as consensus is. It is the usual process. You actually did something unusual by asking permission first. Darkfrog24 (talk) 05:19, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
"Bold" applies to editing articles. It does not apply to Wikipedia processes. I can't start a new process called "requests for such and such" merely because I want to. Such a process requires consensus of the community. That's how it works with all community processes, otherwise we'd end up with tons of parallel and competing structures. The usual process for establishing community procedures is discussion at the village pump. RGloucester 05:49, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oh goody: a meta-meta-debate on the process by which the framework for the process for debating the forum for discussing style should be discussed is determined. Decided. I think. EEng (talk) 16:51, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
Such a board likely would need community support and consensus. Stating BOLD as a justification for such a significant is possibly stretching its meaning a bit. In any case getting consensus is the best path as it raises awareness of the project and precludes any future questions over the legitimacy of the project.Trout71 (talk) 01:50, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Apparently the first item of business at this new board will need to be a discussion of its vs. it's. ;-) EEng (talk) 12:39, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
If you don't like it, you don't have to help. Darkfrog24 (talk) 23:33, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
If you don't like the joke, you don't have to laugh. EEng (talk) 23:56, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Apologies user:EEng for a minor mistake which you clearly felt it necessary to point out. I am assuming your motive was petty, like your action. In any case I doubt that you are an expert on grammar. After a few seconds on your page I was simply horrified by the false apposition and the sundry other mistakes that are tell-tale signs of someone trying to use constructions and language that he doesn't really understand.Trout71 (talk) 23:00, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
You don't have to be a grammar expert to find amusement in an its/it's mixup during a discussion of a proposed Style Noticeboard, though you do have to take yourself very seriously to be offended by a goodnatured ribbing – particularly one tagged by ;-).
In any case if my userpage exhibits false apposition (or other offenses tsk-tsked in your 19th-century grammar) please boldly correct it for me. I don't mind having my errors pointed out, whether for humor or enlightenment. EEng (talk) 01:17, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Right this conversation is geting really interesting... No you don't have to be a grammar expert to find that funny, but you do have to have a lot of time on your hands coupled with a lack of any constructive activities to partake in. Anyway we'll have to disagree on our tastes in humour. I appreciate humour which is funny, you obviously appreciate whatever you call that stuff above. Do I even need to bother pointing out the irony in you accusing me of 19th century19th-century grammar? And you may be bold yourself and correct your own page, if you can.Trout71 (talk) 17:20, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm afraid the irony escapes me—​please explain. The invitation to correct any errors on my userpage stands; in reciprocation I've taken the liberty (subject to your approval) of correcting your 19th century (above) to 19th-century, though if you'd rather it remain wrong please change it back and accept my apologies. (I've left the comma splice, run-ons, misspelling, and other illiteracy for you to handle yourself.) EEng (talk) 21:44, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
If the irony escapes you I suggest you attempt to read your own user page and then return here and accuse me of 19th century grammar. Above you have accused me of breaking a rule of grammar that is both defunct in this context and also rather obscure in general. A hyphen is needed when there is an opportunity for confusion as to which words are associated. Unless one is a bit stupid one will realise that the words 19th and century are associated and that together they act as an adjective for the word grammar. While the hyphen is useful, it is not necessary in this example and is not often used any more. I concede the spelling mistake, but your other points without exception are either irrelevant or incorrect. Run-on lines are hardly bad grammar and are often used in poetry. It can be observed that I use them here to express exasperation. I disagree with your accusation of the comma splice. As for your kind invitation I reiterate my declining of it. It's your user page and it's your business to correct it. I am not a lout who feels the need to alter another persons writing, even if I think it's incorrect. It is his right to alter it if he chooses to. Look I'll be nice to you now. I realise at this point that you have little to be doing with your time other than pointing out insignificant or theoretical grammar mistakes. The mistakes you typically note do not impair the quality of the text. So for your pleasure I have included a grammar "mistake", I have used a proposition to finish a sentence with. Twice. That must be like Christmas and Easter rolled into one for the man would probably scold Shakespeare for bad grammar. With love Trout71 (talk) 17:19, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I have used a proposition to finish a sentence with. Oh, dear. EEng (talk) 21:13, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
EEng?? Trout71 (talk) 21:31, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
You rang? EEng (talk) 21:59, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
You've been trouted.p Trout71 (talk) 22:04, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
So you have a sense of humor after all. P EEng (talk) 22:34, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
EEng, there's a chap outside who wants you to sign for this industrial sized pot and a couple of high-grade titanium stirrers..... Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 08:40, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
Industrial-sized needs a hyphen. P P P P EEng (talk) 12:02, 18 April 2015 (UTC) Thanks for the caption, BTW. Perfect.
  • You could start the WP:Style Help desk with little to no community consensus, just some volunteers interested in answering questions. Which under my reading of the proposal is what is being proposed. You would need consensus for a true noticeboard, where issues are taken, and a resolution is reached through consensus there, possibly over the objection of one of the parties. Monty845 01:59, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Eh, a noticeboard sounds better to me but as long as the new guys have a place to go that they can actually find. Darkfrog24 (talk) 23:33, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
  • You can't have the B without the R and the D, so we would end up here (or somewhere) anyway. RGloucester's tack seems the correct one. ―Mandruss  12:49, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
The fringe theories noticeboard is an example of BRD-like creation. It was boldy created, sent to MfD within a few days, discussion ensued, and it was kept. That whole thing took less than half the time and far fewer words than this discussion has required, by the way. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 23:54, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
  • While I am firmly opposed to yet another drama board for this purpose, I would fully support a simple help desk. If it was strictly to help find relevant guidance from the MOS and explicitly not for any kind of dispute resolution I don't see a problem. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:00, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not clear on what the difference would be. The kinds of questions we're talking about would be the same, and would have the same answers. For example, while this discussion has been taking place, three or four people have asked questions at WT:MoS: spelling/ENGVAR organization definite articles. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:22, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
It is apparent to me that many of the people above have not read WP:PNB. This noticeboard is meant to be established in the model of WP:PNB. I don't know why you think it has anything to do with "dispute resolution", though it may inadvertently resolve some disputes. RGloucester 01:36, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Halftime report[edit]

This RfC is about halfway through, and it seems like one of those RfCs that might not get closed for a month, so I'm offering to close. (As always, speak up if you object.) One thing I'm not seeing that I think would be helpful would be more discussion of the general case: what happens on WP when some people are already doing something, and others believe that their process isn't visible enough or doesn't provide the best answers, so they set up another page to try to do it better? This strikes me as territory that's already well-covered by our policies and practices (but I don't want to inject my own views, of course). - Dank (push to talk) 18:29, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Orange Suede Sofa cited the WP:Fringe theories noticeboard. It seems to be working out. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:54, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
That's part of the reason why the opposition baffles me. This noticeboard would be ten times more transparent (something many of them seem to want) than the existing mess, would allow easier access for users looking for assistance, and is based in a common community standard, the WP:PNB. RGloucester 19:19, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

When I have my closer hat on, I'm just a mid-level drone with experience in applying policy and judging consensus; you guys are the ones who will have to figure out how to proceed. When I close, I'll try to sum up some of the arguments, but for the moment, I want to talk about policy. It's better for voters to discuss how policy does or doesn't apply, but apart from mentions of WP:NOTFORUM and SHOPPING (and Izno's link to IAR) ... correct me if I'm wrong ... that didn't happen here. I've got some suggestions for how policy might apply, but we've still got a week to go before the 30 days are up; feel free to correct me or suggest other policies. So: since SHOPPING is well-established policy, it's a bad idea to create a new page that is likely to produce a stream of people asking the same question on two pages in hopes of getting the answer they want. Note that it's a good start but not sufficient to define what a new noticeboard is supposed to handle: if the likely or actual result is a lot of SHOPPING violations, that's a problem, no matter how explicit you were when you set it up and no matter who's at fault. OTOH, if we're talking about some new page that succeeds in doing something useful that isn't being done elsewhere, then policy as a whole pushes in the other direction, for instance per WP:IAR and WP:OWN. An analogy: suppose Wikiproject Widgets has never shown any real interest in widget law, but Wikiproject Law has, and now WP:LAW has just set up a task force on widget law. WIDGETS objects strongly to the existence of the task force and begins arguing with them over multiple pages. IAR and OWN put limits on how successful WIDGETS can be in stopping someone else from doing something that the WIDGETS guys weren't doing and weren't likely to start doing, even if they have an argument that, since it concerns widgets, they'd be better at it. - Dank (push to talk) 21:37, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Point of clarification: if people asking a question in the wrong place are politely and consistently directed to the right place, that's only inefficient, not a big problem. The problem I'm talking about above would be anything that leads to a serious uptick in SHOPPING. - Dank (push to talk) 01:12, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like you don't think there should be a style noticeboard because you think the community's needs are already being met at WT:MoS. Here's the issue, then: are people being directed to WT:MoS? Do the new guys give up before anyone can direct them there? Do other Wikieditors know they're supposed to direct people there? These things by definition don't leave a trail, but my guesses based on my own experience are "yes" and "no."
It also sounds like you think that the creation of this board is likely to result in forum shopping. This question can be answered: One of the arguments against this board has been "people will forum shop," but one of the arguments in favor has been "right now, questions are scattered across too many different talk pages." Given that lots of MoS pages have overlapping content, it sounds like there is plenty of opportunity for forum shopping already. I tend to spend my time on the main MoS talk page, but could someone who frequents multiple pages tell us, is forum shopping for style issues a problem now? Does someone get an answer at WT:MOS and then hop over to WT:MOSCAPS or WT:MOSDATE to get a different one? If this is not something that people with style questions tend to do, then it is not something we should treat as likely. Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:15, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like you don't think there should be a style noticeboard [Darkfrog24]
I'm sure that I don't have an opinion on whether we should have some kind of style noticeboard. If I did, I wouldn't have signed on. - Dank (push to talk)
because you think the community's needs are already being met at WT:MoS.
Language is IMO one of the hardest subjects we tackle on WP. I don't think it's possible to meet everyone's needs with the current resources.- Dank (push to talk)
You're losing me ... which is the problem I'm generally having with this RfC, I'm not clear on what we're trying to create here (possibly because we don't have a consensus answer yet, which is fine ... hopefully we'll get there). Are you saying that WT:MOS functions in part as a noticeboard, except it's not attracting enough attention? Are you saying that, without making any changes to what happens at WT:MOS, you'd like to create a second noticeboard, because that will attract more attention? If so, are there any other pages on Wikipedia that serve as noticeboards where you see a benefit to setting up a second noticeboard to handle the same sorts of questions? I don't think I'm following you. - Dank (push to talk) 20:51, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
What we are proposing is a noticeboard, which is well described at Wikipedia:Noticeboards. Asking questions on the talk page of the style guide is discouraged. It says at the top, in bold, "This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Manual of Style page" and presumably not for anything else. People sometimes ask anyway, but that notice turned me away from asking when I was a newbie and I suspect it turns away others. Also the style guide is spread over dozens of pages (see Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Contents) and many of those pages are seldom watched. So, sometimes the Manual of Style talk page does serve as a noticeboard, but it doesn't do it well, and there is no place where people are encouraged to ask questions about the way to write for Wikipedia.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  21:16, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's it exactly. WT:MoS has been serving as an unofficial noticeboard for years and not enough people know about it. Yes, we want to create a noticeboard because Wikipedia's existing structure funnels editors with questions to noticeboards and not to WT:MoS. Yes, the quality of the answers that people receive at WT:MoS is very high. No, those discussions don't usually lead to drama. Yes, we want to do the exact same thing but on a noticeboard. I don't know if there are other talk pages that are also unofficial help desks—my area of expertise is writing and style—but I guess a noticeboard might be easier to find in those cases too.
Most of these things have already been covered in this conversation. Here are the highlights: 1) I ask what this board is intended to do and RG and Blueboar answer: [16] [17]; 2) There's even a section called What this board would actually do in this discussion, 3) Mandruss points out that even the text at the top of the Village pump (policy) says, "if you need help, go to a noticeboard." [18]; 4) A lot of the supporters are saying, "This is a good idea because questions about how to apply style don't belong on the talk pages"; 5) A lot of supporters are saying "a noticeboard would be easier to find than a talk page." The first link and "What this board would do" section contain links to examples of questions that people have asked at WT:MoS. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:14, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Dank, I'm not 100% sure what you're asking for with "second noticeboard," but I think I might have an example in reverse: You know how we have a reliable sources noticeboard even though WP:RS has a perfectly good talk page, an NPOV noticeboard even thought WP:NPOV has a perfectly good talk page, and so on? Same idea. Not all policy pages have their own noticeboard—WP:CANVASSING doesn't—but it also doesn't get that many questions about how to apply the rule. WT:MoS and its subordinate talk pages do get a lot of questions about how to apply their rules. So if by "set up a second noticeboard" you mean "establish a noticeboard so that people can ask questions there instead of on the talk pages," there are several cases in which that's already been done. Darkfrog24 (talk) 22:22, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Okay, so you know my main concern now; I'll unwatch for the time being. Another analogy: suppose that, unexpectedly, we find out that there have been two pages for a while that have both been claiming to be the noticeboard for BLP. Different WPians would probably try to resolve this in different ways (and I'm not passing judgment on the best way to resolve conflicts on WP, particularly when it comes to language. Do whatever works for you.) Some would take a legalistic approach, along the lines of: you're ordered to cease and desist, the other board got here first, or is more active, or something. Some would take a more people-centered approach, and ask the regulars at both boards if they were aware of the other board, and if so, why they chose to post where they posted ... is there something about that page that works better for them? Is there something they need before they'd be comfortable consolidating the boards? Suppose I close this RfC next week and say "Because of the superior arguments of the minority, I decree that there shall henceforth be a MOS Noticeboard on Wikipedia." Some people would laugh at me, then try to remove the new noticeboard. If for some reason they weren't successful, then they could try to get it removed by legal means, such as an appeal to overturn the close, or they might try a more people-centered approach, asking regular posters to WT:MOS why they were comfortable asking their questions there and making replies there, and whether it would work better for them if they moved the more noticeboard-y stuff to an actual noticeboard, and if so, how we would be able to tell the difference between talk page stuff and noticeboard stuff. That would be quite a long process, and they'd be likely to get a wide range of responses, requiring a lot of conflict resolution. I haven't seen evidence of even a start on that process yet, but maybe I've missed it. Until that process reached a resolution (if ever), we'd have, in effect, two MOS noticeboards. (And to be clear, SHOPPING is just one of many policy problems people have noticed when we try to do the same thing in two different places. There are a range of reasons we don't try to cover the same territory with two wikiprojects, two talk pages, two noticeboards, etc.) - Dank (push to talk) 16:14, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

We have that problem now: Talk pages of MoS subpages that have overlapping content. The noticeboard is meant to fix this problem by providing one official place for writing questions instead of several unofficial ones.
I'm not sure what you're getting at with most of your post. You seem to be describing a hypothetical scenario. The idea as I see it is that, after the noticeboard is established, anyone who asks a style question at one of the talk pages is told, "We have a noticeboard for that; here's the link." The worst likely scenario at WT: MoS is that someone answers their question there anyway and the noticeboard gets less use than it should.
If you haven't already, you should look at WT:MoS or to any of the example links I've given. Look at the style questions that people ask there and at the answers they get. Do you think the problems you're describing are likely with questions like these? There's a lot less gray area with this than with RS or OR or NPOV. Darkfrog24 (talk) 19:19, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
@Dank: Should this proposal fail, I imagine there will be a discussion on WT:MOS about encouraging and explicitly allowing style questions on the MOS talk page. I think many will object to it because making decisions about what the MoS should say is challenging enough and it is a waste of editors' time to answer questions about what it does say. I can imagine problems for this board, but I can imagine almost anything. Personally I grew up hating grammar and writing because I am dyslexic. I have worked very hard to be a competent writer and to follow the rules I can understand. Honestly, I'm not sure what a preposition is, but I can direct people to MOS:CT so they can figure out which words to capitalize in a title and avoid future arguments.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  19:56, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
I have a problem with the "should vs does" say argument you're making, and that is that the people who know what it does say are the same as those who argue about what it should say. Additionally, a large number of them above have "signed on" to man this noticeboard. So the claim that questions at WT:MOS are causing them to waste their time does not seem to be true. --Izno (talk) 16:52, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but those same people handle the "should" and "does" questions differently.
Case in point: The MoS has a rule called WP:LQ. I despise that rule for reasons that I will list here if anyone thinks it's relevant. I'm quite possibly its #1 non-fan. WP:LQ is one of the most, if not the most, frequently challenged parts of the MoS, and every time someone says, "We should change that rule," I'm right there saying "Yes! Here's why and how and evidence and precedent and what to change it to!" However, when a guy came to WT:MoS asking, "What is Wikipedia's rule on the placement of periods and commas with quotation marks?" even I said "It's WP:LQ. You might know it better as the British system. Here's how to do it correctly." Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:09, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's an issue that those same people handle the should and does questions differently. I would imagine them to be different kinds of answers, just as you're illustrating yourself. That they happen on the same talk page does not provide evidence that a new noticeboard is needed. (But I digress. I did not pop into this spot in the discussion except to point out what seems to be an illogical argument and I myself did not advance any new ideas.) --Izno (talk) 23:37, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
@Izno: I think you are right that a large number of people want to help on this new board, but as others have observed, some of the people active on WT:MOS seem to enjoy a good argument and may have no interest in helping newbies. I also know that there are excellent writers who have zero interest in the sometimes contentious discussions at WT:MOS, but I hope some of them will want to work with people who are asking for assistance.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  22:26, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Your response does not seem to answer my original one, so I'll take it as granted that you neither disagree with me nor fail to see fault with that part of comment.

Regarding those people who have no interest in helping newbies, do they actually exist? If they do, where's the evidence? Why aren't those excellent writers simply watching WT:MOS? They don't need to get involved in actual change discussion (which I agree, it is sometimes driven by a handful of editors trying to beat each other with sticks). --Izno (talk) 23:37, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Oh, I see. I thought you were worried that the MoS regulars would be too busy dueling to help the askers, and I was offering a clear case in which that could have happened but didn't.
The noticeboard is needed not because people who ask questions at WT:MoS don't get good answers—they do—and it's not because these questions disrupt business there—in my opinion, they don't. It's needed because not enough newbs know that WT:MoS is the place to go for questions. Wikipedia's existing structure funnels them to noticeboards (and the talk pages explicitly say not to ask help questions there). It's about making help easier to find and Wikipedia's instructions less contradictory. Darkfrog24 (talk) 00:17, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Deciding what the MoS should say is a different thing from explaining what it does say. Such things appeal to different people. You are correct that I don't know the thoughts of others or how this noticeboard will actually be used, but I am making an educated guess as a regular watcher of, and occasional contributor to, MoS discussions. I am also someone who looked for a place to ask questions and found that there was none. I think trying to make WT:MOS such a place would be controversial.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  01:03, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Precedent for precedent's sake[edit]

As you can see at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Abhay Vidhya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Hindaun City there are 2(3 if the speedy counts) votes for delete, one vote for keep, and two for keep because of precedent.

I'm proposing we drop the idea of precedent for precedent's sake.

A school existing should not be a reason to have an article on it. It should have to be notable, just like everything else on here. This seems like a really strange exception to me. While I understand precedent, I feel that it should only ever be used to end something quickly, or if there is no consensus reached. Right now when the AfD closes it would be deleted if not for the votes for precedent. If on the other hand there was no consensus then the closing admin could use precedent to close as keep. In the legal system a judge uses precedent as a guide, not a rule. We should do the same here. Jerodlycett (talk) 04:19, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm no expert, but it seems to be that the whole argument from prededent is really a short-hand way of saying "the factors that are relevant to the current matter have been debated before, and come to a satisfactory conclusion, so there is no reason to expect a different conclusion this time." And that's fine if the old and new matters are the same, but there are always differences. By analogy to the legal situation, I believe it is better treated as persuasive precedent, not as binding precedent. Look at the old case, and decide what, if anything, from that discussion is pertinent to the current. It may or may not lead to the same decision.--Gronk Oz (talk) 05:34, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the comment. Jerodlycett (talk) 14:30, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  • False premise, cannot oppose or support: "Precedent," except in the form of very recent consensus or policy or guidelines, does not exist here. Indeed, the concept of it not existing is enthroned at Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions#What about article x? An argument at AfD citing "precedent" is, really, an argument that the outcome is a common outcome, see Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Common_outcomes#Schools. In short, it's an argument that "though in theory these can be deleted for lack of sources, as a practical matter these never get enough "delete" !votes to actually be deleted so this is a waste of time". The "rules," namely NHSCHOOL, are clear that schools have to establish notability through multiple sources, but there is sometimes a disconnect between what the notability guidelines say and what actually happens in deletion discussions. That's okay, of course, because consensus can change, both generally and on a case by case local exception basis. The point that should be made in the AfD discussion is that there is no such thing as precedent and "usual outcome" is not a substantial argument for retention. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 14:11, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
There are two arguments on the example I gave that state precisely that precedent is the reason for keeping. I don't know if the solution is a huge banner on common outcomes or on AfD stating that, but it's irritating to think that the article would have otherwise reached consensus and been deleted, but due to votes of precedent it may not be. The reason I put out an RFC is to try to get comments on this matter mainly, not necessarily votes, so thank you. Jerodlycett (talk) 14:30, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree with TransporterMan. Precedent means nothing at Wikipedia, every single discussion should be decided on its own merits, based on consensus-based discussions in accordance with Wikipedia's core principles. All discussions stand on their own. That does not stop people from making bad arguments based on existing "precedent", but that doesn't mean we have to give those arguments any weight. --Jayron32 14:16, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
If this is true, then the article should close as delete per the consensus set there, correct? I'm not willing to make the bet that it will be. Thank you for your comment. Jerodlycett (talk) 14:30, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
No, consensus is assessed by the weight of the arguments. Admins are free to (and encouraged to) ignore arguments which are based on unsound principles or spurious rationales. --Jayron32 02:43, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I also can neither support nor oppose because the practice of precedent for precedent's sake is not occurring, per se. WP:SCHOOLOUTCOMES is based on prior discussions which have often led to a common result, and the common result is that schools of a certain level are almost always eventually found to be notable according to WP:ORG, unless they don't actually exist. However, each case is evaluated in isolation; one school isn't notable because another one is, and there is no inherent notability for any school. This is better described at WP:WPSCH/AG#N. Ivanvector (talk) 16:14, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean that it isn't happening, as it is. Even an administrator is doing so. Thank you for the comment. Jerodlycett (talk) 17:40, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
What I mean is that there is a better justification for this practice than simply "precedent" or "we've always done it this way". Ivanvector (talk) 20:13, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I have seen many !votes at school AFDs that are simply invocations of precedent. The ones that bother me most are the editors who invoke precedent to delete articles about elementary schools that easily comply with both ORG and GNG. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:47, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
  • As far as "precedent" boils down to "essay" trying to outsmart a "guideline" ignoring the "essay" as it recommends at its top might be good enoough. Deleting the essay as nevertheless misleading and not helpful might be better. What exactly do you propose here? I'm tempted to add support, but I'm not sure what I'd support. –Be..anyone (talk) 16:51, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
It seems the problem isn't exactly what I thought it was, so I'm waiting on more input to see. I'm beginning to think you have the best solution for what seems to be the exact problem, that essay. Thanks for the comment. Jerodlycett (talk) 17:40, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
This particular schools a borderline case. We should;t use such cases to change established statements of practice, or we will have no stability at all, and no basis for consistent decisions. We can;t be expected to be perfectly consistent, but we should at least try. DGG ( talk ) 19:48, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." We should strive not for consistency, but propriety. We do what is proper to the specific situation, not what has been done in other situations merely because of some random points of coincidence. --Jayron32 02:46, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Note that word foolish in the quotation. A wise consistency is the hallmark of seriousness & intelligence. A foolish inconsistency is the hallmark of using no mind at all. The WP policy that avoids foolish consistency is IAR, but IAR is intend for the exceptions, not the general run of things. Newcomers are entitled to learn from reading our guidelines what they are supposed to do. Trying to build an encycopedia without consistency produces of hodgepodge of miscellaneous internet pages. Encyclopedias are by definition organized knowledge. DGG ( talk ) 18:58, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
Consistency is an accidental biproduct of propriety, and never a goal unto itself. Doing the proper thing will lead to similar results in many situations, but that doesn't mean that should be the goal. When consistency is valued as an end to itself, that is a problem. That our results end up consistent is a happy coincidence, and the outward sign that we're probably doing the right thing, but we don't let consistency be the driving force behind our decision making. It is that thinking that makes it foolish. Wise consistencies aren't planned first as consistencies. They are merely wise. --Jayron32 02:33, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Proposal after comments[edit]

Thank you who left comments assisting in this. My proposal is now as follows.

I propose deletion, or rewrite to indicate use only for assistance when no consensus is found, of WP:OUTCOMES.

It is being quoted as the reason to keep a subject that isn't notable on its own. While I gave one example above of it being used that way, and the results from it, you can see the discussion at WikiProject Christianity which shows it is considered a guideline, not an essay. Jerodlycett (talk) 03:55, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Comment: I think the page itself, in its lead and first section, already does that well enough. Also, I think what you’re desiring is for precedent itself to be considered irrelevant in such cases, rather than this page that attempts to document it. As for WT:XNB, I see only that it’s considered a relevant page in the context of that discussion. —174.141.182.82 (talk) 02:32, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, this wannabe-essay trying to overrule guidelines not in the form of a WP:AFD subpage is harmful, intentionally misleading, and pointy. –Be..anyone (talk) 02:05, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support marking WP:OUTCOMES with {{historical}}. It is a fantastically unhelpful page that hamstrings proper discussions of articles on their own merit. We should be discussing each article individually, not pointing at OUTCOMES and saying "Nope, can't delete it... precedent says we can't" We don't normally delete such pages, but we should tag it as historical and that it should not be used for resolving deletion discussions. --Jayron32 02:11, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I believe the example this proposal is based on is being misunderstood by the nominator. At a first level, schools are notable in the same way bridges and train stations are, as elements of infrastructure and public service - and we've included coverage of some very minor bridges and train stations. Motivation for this proposal seems to amount to WP:IDONTLIKE. Samsara 08:19, 5 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Removing this will eliminate any sense of rationality. Discussing each article on its own merit will mean about 500 Afds a day,and we don;t have enough interest people to discuss properly even the 100 we do have. It will also result in an encycopedia where decisions are made not by the merits, but by chance occurrence of easy to find web links, and by the intensity of the people arguing. A reader should know whether or not they can expect to find churches or high schools or elementary schools, or what types of businesses or people they will find. DGG ( talk ) 19:02, 7 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, DGG is right. OUTCOMES is just an essay, and like all essays can be referred to or ignored as the situation warrants. Schools are a somewhat unusual situation where notability is assumed to be inherent at high school level and above. Wikipedia doesn't like absolutes, but this particular precedent is useful as at one time years ago AFD was cluttered with lots of wildly inconsistent debates about schools, and it's far simpler to assume high schools are notable and move on. For what it's worth, precedent does exist--articles on human settlements and heads of state are essentially never deleted, for example. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 02:42, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Actually, no they aren't presumed notable. The actual guideline states otherwise, see WP:NHSCHOOL. Only the essay indicates they are notable, contradicting the guideline. I'm not trying to change your vote, just pointing that out. Jerod Lycett (talk) 08:54, 8 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Rather than deleting OUTCOMES, I like the idea of creating a simple template, similar to {{spa}}, that can be used to 'reply' to "Vote per OUTCOMES". It should say something like "Outcomes describes what happened to average articles, and is neither binding nor necessarily relevant to this particular one". WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:44, 9 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - the essay is a handy documentation of the "usual" result for common types of articles that always come up at AfD. It's not policy and it doesn't try to be. Ivanvector (talk) 18:21, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose If AfD was staffed by hundreds of careful researchers carefully analysing every article on its merits, I would agree with the proposal. But in real life, that's not what happens. Precedent provides useful guidelines and makes AfD run more efficiently. If people feel it shouldn't apply in some circumstance, they're free to argue why. --Colapeninsula (talk) 13:27, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - In my opinion entirely too much energy goes into deletion arguments. When general patterns emerge they indicate a rough community consensus and that is very valuable information which should be considered in guiding similar decisions.--agr (talk) 14:25, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

IRC help channel disclaimer[edit]

Propose moving User:PhantomTech/sandbox/IRC Disclaimer to Wikipedia:IRC help disclaimer and redirecting all links that connect users to the #wikipedia-en-help channel to Wikipedia:IRC help disclaimer in addition to adding the script at User:PhantomTech/Scripts/IRCNick.js to MediaWiki:Common.js. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 04:02, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

Details: There are currently several problems with the IRC help channel, a few of those problems are that people often ask the same questions and that helpers sometimes have issues helping people because of the nicks they're given. Right now, almost all links give the default nick "WPhelp" with a nice long number at the end. As this post points out, this not only causes issues for people trying to help but also the people being helped. The proposal aims to cut down on the number of repeated questions (though not everyone may read the page) and give user's a friendlier IRC nick by default. Not all issues with the help channel are solved by this but it is a pretty simple modification that can solve one of the bigger issues. Currently, the script picks nicks in the following way:
  • Users who do not support javascript fallback to using one of the current "WPhelp" nicks
  • If the user is logged in, their nick is the first 11 characters of their username with anything non-alphanumeric characters replaced with an underscore and "-WP##" added to the end, where ## is a two digit number unless the username has 4 or more characters replaced with an underscore, then the next option is used.
  • All other users are given a username that starts with a random color with "-WP###" added to the end, where ### is a three digit number. Colors are used because they are the least likely to offend people.
Example: Someone whose username is User might get the nick User-WP42, someone with the username Full.Stop might get the username Full_Stop-WP20 and someone who is not logged in might get the username blue-WP493. Note, "might" is used because the numbers at the end of the usernames are chosen randomly and the color in the last example is also chosen randomly. Feel free to ask for any clarification or any more examples, the script can be tested by following instructions at the top of the page at User:PhantomTech/sandbox/IRC Disclaimer to see what nick you would be given. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 04:02, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
Cross posted to WikiProject AFC, Teahouse and the help desk. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 16:54, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose the disclaimer as written, could support it with some heavy revision. Oppose adding such a script to Common.js as that is not the appropriate place for such a thing. I could see a nick picker added to an on by default gadget though (such as the Teahouse Ask a Question script), and I would support such a suggestion. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 15:41, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Could you be more specific about what you think is wrong with the disclaimer? I have no issue making this a default gadget instead of something in common.js, assuming that default gadgets are enabled for IP users. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 19:44, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Full support. I'm not commenting on implementation as a default-on gadget or as an addition to common.js, but whatever is according to convention is fine by me. --L235 (t / c / ping in reply) 16:35, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Because it's nice to give people some context around the Freenode webchat interface, and the username consistency is a nice touch. But I think that it's unnecessary and unhelpful to tell questioners to RTFM before asking. I'd strongly prefer that language be removed if you plan to implement this for the Teahouse IRC channel (TH is the anti-RTFM). That said, no one uses the TH IRC channel anyway, so it's basically a non-issue. Cheers, - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me
    • Yeah, I don't see new editors in there often, but I'm pretty sure that is because -en-help is what is linked to from the THQ page and the only one ever mentioned. That kind of makes -en-help the Teahouse channel also, which suggests that it should be the anti-RTFM as well. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 16:41, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Great solution and implementation. APerson (talk!) 03:29, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • So...you want to provide people with a link that will very easily associate their username with their IP address? Legoktm (talk) 03:39, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
@Legoktm: Yes, but not much more than is already done. The script doesn't force the username on them, it just prefills it so they do still have the option to change it if they wish. As it is, people are already associating their username with their IPs, probably without knowing it. One of the first questions people tend to be asked are "What's your username" or "What article/draft" so that they can be helped easier, while the last one isn't direct, it isn't hard to figure out their username from a draft with one contributor and IRC gives us their IP when they join. With this solution, the association is more automated but there's a warning for anyone who's unfamiliar with IRC, something that doesn't exist right now. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 16:50, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support - I think it works well, it's cool, and provides a central place to link all of IRC to. We need a disclaimer talking about IP addresses anyway, and some of the other stuff is also pretty useful. Am not opposed to revising the disclaimer in a way that Technical 13 is happy with. — kikichugirl oh hello! 17:02, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, although I would avoid unnecessary jargon (like "IP" instead of "IP Address", "IRC" without any explanation, "FAQ" instead of "Frequently Asked Questions", and "#Wikipedia-en-help") in the green box. I mocked up a more "noob friendly" version of the green box at User:Ahecht/sandbox/IRC_Disclaimer --Ahecht (TALK
    PAGE
    ) 17:18, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@Ahecht: Feel free to merge your changes into my sandbox, your version does seem more user friendly. PHANTOMTECH (talk) 20:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I've trimmed the code and made it HTML5 compliant. That works fine for me. As for the IRC nicks, I've added another option that both addresses the WPHelp/Guest issue and the anonymous issue that Legoktm brought up here. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 20:30, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Assuming this isn't closed yet, I'd like to say it sounds like a good idea. I'm not sure why something odd involving revision IDs has been implemented instead. That seems like a creepy way to find out what someone's draft is; better to just have their username, and the -WP### thing is a good workaround for registered nicks. ekips39talk 01:54, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Proposal: Exploring Editor Characteristics[edit]

I'd greatly appreciate feedback from this Wikipedia community on the following proposal:

While there are advantages stemming from the anonymity of Wikipedia editors’ profiles, the Wikipedia community might benefit (and further expand) by accurately describing the traits and characteristics of its editors. The paramount identification of gender trouble on Wikipedia inspired a conversation about gender inequality in online communities and the 2011 survey begins to document this problem. However, it remains unknown how gender might be a precursor or influencing factor in the degree and frequency by which someone edits. In addition, we don’t know what other user attributes are more predominately represented on Wikipedia and how these attributes might influence editing.

This grant would explore the gender gap through an intersectionality approach that may further contextualize how group membership (i.e. identifying as female and an ethnic minority) and enactment of one's identity contribute to this gender disparity. Are there user characteristics that make individuals more likely to edit on Wikipedia or edit more frequently and at higher volumes on Wikipedia?

In order to accurately explore the main goals of the Inspire Campaign, we must be able to effectively characterize our community. Any interventions that we develop should reflect and match the needs of the target population, requiring a thorough understanding of the traits and behaviors of our editor community. As a direct extension of the recent gender gap research on Wikipedia, we’d like to conduct another study that uses a Talk Page posted survey to compare the traits of the super-editor, the active editor (moderate editing), and the inactive editor (infrequent edits). A more thorough description of the project can be found on the proposal page.Cshanesimpson (talk) 13:25, 12 April 2015 (UTC)

A couple of questions we've already run into:

  1. How accurate are the Wikipedia editor rankings?
  2. We'd like to explore beyond the English Wikipedia. Are there suggestions about other Wikipedia's that have more robust activity?
  3. As Wikipedians vary in demographic characteristics, any ideas about appropriate incentives for such a diverse community? We've identified iPad's in the grant, but an online incentive would be much simpler to distribute (i.e. Amazon gift cards).Cshanesimpson (talk) 13:25, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
  • So basically you want to see if the editors who are willing to out themselves as something other than Old White Male edit differently, and if it's even worth recruiting these people? Jerod Lycett (talk) 19:32, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Edit counts can tell you very roughly how active an editor has been, but I really dislike that you call them "editor rankings", which plays into an unfortunately simplistic metric of an editor's value to the project. (To answer your question there are likely numerous technical reasons these counts are wrong in large and small ways, but that probably has little effect on what you should be using them for -- sorting editors qualitatively by level of "activity".)
  • I hope the incentives you're contemplating are to reward participation in your project, not for getting people to edit. The latter would very much attract not-the-kind-of-editor-we-want.
  • I think you'll have your hands full with the English WP -- why don't you move on to others after success here?
EEng (talk) 20:14, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate your feedback Jerodlycett and EEng and I hope I can clarify a few of your concerns. The reference to "editor ranking" was only in the context of the article's name. I agree with you that it would be incredibly difficult to qualitatively rank editors based on their edits. The Editor Ranking would serve as a sampling method by which I could identify some of our high-volume editors. However, I'm very open to suggestions about other methods by which this could be done.
Yes, you're correct that incentives/compensation are only provided in my studies for participation in the study; they are not given for editing. This would be a huge ethical issue and would not be granted approval from an ethics board such as the one I'll be using. However, we are constantly bombarded with surveys and I feel a small incentive often effectively shows appreciation for participation.
Good point regarding the English Wikipedia! I'd received feedback from other wiki communities recommending that I should expand beyond the English Wikipedia to capture a larger and more diverse group of editors. In short, I'm not entirely sure how effective my recruitment efforts will be. I'd like to think of this proposal as an exploratory study, which could eventually lead to other studies. However, I need to acquire a decent sample size to capture relationships in the data (hence the "beyond English Wikipedia statement"). Cshanesimpson (talk) 12:40, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
I think it is important to survey editors again to see what might have changed since 2011, I'm not sure if an open-ended talk page survey is the right way to go. Some people won't be comfortable answering those types of questions on their talk page, but might be more amenable to doing so via a survey where the individual results aren't posted to Wikipedia. Also, I hope that the sampling technique you'll use to choose who to invite to take the survey takes into account the difference between content creators and gnomes or new page patrollers. A gnome or new page patroller may have hundreds of edits in one day reverting vandalism or tagging articles or fixing misspellings. A content creator might have only 3 edits that day, but they may have created a 5,000-word article. Depending on how you classify super-editors vs active-editors, you may end up with a disproportional look at what is going on. Karanacs (talk) 19:10, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. We have many different types of editors here, doing very different things. More research identifying these types would be very useful, but I'm not sure this proposal addresses that. Johnbod (talk) 17:25, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Karanacs for your feedback! We'd only post the survey to Talk Pages without posting the actual results on such a public space. I think you're completely correct that Wikipedians wouldn't want to publicly post that information and my academic IRB definitely wouldn't approve such a study due to the lack of confidentiality. You have a really interesting point regarding the "gnomes" and this is likely our biggest obstacle for the project. It's incredibly difficult to "judge" the number of edits an editor makes based on volume and frequency. Besides the Wikipedia Editor Rankings, do you have any suggestions for a more accurate classification? I've heard there are significant problems with the recent Wikipedia editor rankings and am very open to exploring different recruitment methods.Cshanesimpson (talk) 14:00, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't know of any more "accurate" classification - there are as many ways to classify editors as there are reasons for being here. WP:WBFAN lists out the most prolific featured article writers, although it doesn't show whether they are still active editors. Still, this ought to get you some ideas for a few editors who are heavy into content creation. I couldn't find a corresponding list for frequent GA collaborators. It might be worth randomly sampling people who have nominated articles at WP:GAN and/or at WP:DYK - that should get editors who are involved more in content than gnoming work. Karanacs (talk) 17:11, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
Cshanesimpson, how much of User:EpochFail's work have you looked into? He's worked on this before. There are all sorts of problems, but you could probably build on what he has done. Two examples: If you count "bytes added" as a means of adding content, then a RecentChanges patroller who reverts vandal-blanking will be reported as "writing" the most content. If you count number of edits (regardless of size), then you will systematically underestimate women's contributions, since women (on average) save less frequently than men (when contributing the same amount of content). WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:33, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Hiding Embarrassing Pictures[edit]

I found that there are pictures which make people uncomfortable. For example, the pictures of genitals (male and female human sex organ), and pictures of diseases and some particular animals (especially some in Arthropoda). While there are needs for showing the scientific facts, we humans are genetically evolved to be uncomfortable to some facts. When a children is curious about human reproduction, he/she may found facts which is beyond his/her afford in the age. (Even I am a adult, I found I never want to contact with someone and reproduce when accidentally see the pictures of sex organs. I also want to know facts about some skin diseases, and an animal called slug. But I don't have that courage.) I suggest there can be 3 new functions planted into Wikipedia: 1. Hide/Show Pictures function, with some particular picture closed. Medical students can help to decide which kind of pictures are "not suitable for abruptly appearance to readers" 2. No-picture mode. While it can help data users on wireless services further (the data saving functions can often disrupt reading), some readers want to just look at words to make them more concentrated. 3. Safe Mode. This can be a further mode to protect violence and sex contents to children (and those who don't like them). I don't know where to send the suggestions. They may seem ridiculous, when being from a undergraduate student. Please tolerate me.Amy Xu 01:27, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

  • If you want to disable all images you can add .image { display:none !important; } to your custom.css. Trying to censor individual images for everyone runs smack in to WP:Not Censored. There is no way to help individuals selectively censor what they don't want to see without risking the tools we provide them being used for involuntary censorship, even if we could agree on how things should be classified. There has been talk of a user script or add on that was going allow censorship by classification, and we can't really stop that, but I don't know if the plans to make it ever came to anything. Monty845 01:41, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, see Help:Options_to_hide_an_image#Hide_all_images_until_click_to_view for another option. Monty845 01:43, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, the idea of content-tagging images so that they can be hidden/etc. has been long discussed before but otherwise generally rejected, in favor of a policy of "principle of least surprise". The issue is that what content is considered shocking or a problem will change from person to person, so there would be no universally good system. Instead, we rely on editors to use intelligent decisions on selecting images so that topics where shocking images would not be appropriate stay devoid of them. --MASEM (t) 02:01, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
The problem with "tagging" images as problematic is that there is no objective list of images which should be hidable. For example, many types of arthropods (mainly insects and arachnids) would be likely to be on such a list, but not butterflies (a type of insect). עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 11:02, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I think there was some sort of initiative to tag images and allow an outside opt-in service to block images. I don't know what happened to that. -- Gadget850 talk 21:08, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
WP:PERENNIAL point 2, everything on WP:NOTCENSORED, and WP:NOTHERE might be also applicable. –Be..anyone (talk) 13:16, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
The proposal is hopeless for a number of reasons, but...
  • If there were some practical way for users to selectively hide certain types of images from their own view, that would not be censorship, so NOTCENSORED is irrelevant;
  • PERENNIAL point 2 is about blocking certain images from everyone's view, which really would be censorship, so PERENNIAL doesn't apply;
  • where in hell do you get off hurling NOTHERE at someone for making a naive suggestion in obvious good faith? Think twice next time.
EEng (talk) 11:59, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────An other issue: Let's say we tag all images of spiders under some tag for allowing opt-in exclusion. User:X decides to opt-in to exclude these. Months later, some user unaware of these tags uploads a new image of a spider. Chances are that this image would remain untagged for a long time, and that User:X, knowing that (s)he won't see any pictures of spiders, will happen to run into it. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:28, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for all the discussion. I've tried to use Chrome to disable all pictures in order to approach some pages without shock. Adding codes sounds not practical for me -- I use multiple devices and not sure whether I'm logged in. Most of the contributors talked about the ambiguous boundary of "What is censorship, and what is not." But as we all overemphasizing Freedom, we also can't grantee that children, people with vascular and psychological problems will be safe from the pictures. I will never forget the ugly sex organ pictures. Still, I think there can be a simple "non-picture mode" , or even just a friendly reminder at the top of all the pages will work fine.Amy Xu 08:46, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

For Amy Xu, and anyone else, I wanted to point out that there was an Image_filter_referendum involving over 24,000 people in 2011. There was a complicated range of views, with many people showing up at the extremes (many strongly against filtering in all respects, many strongly pro-filtering in all respects). People were more flexible on some issues than others. But a coherent picture emerges if you look at it piece by piece:

  1. In principal, there is a sufficient level of support to establish a filter.
  2. That filter must be OPT-IN.
  3. That filter must be trivial to disable. Clicking the empty image-box would display the image. (It would not offer any level of "parent control" enforcement at all).
  4. The filter must be CULTURE NEUTRAL. The community is not willing to get bogged down in hopeless opinion-arguments over "how much skin or anatomy" equals "pornography". Nor is the community willing to make up arbitrary categories (porn, violence, gore, offensive religious imagery etc.) It would have to be a block-all or block-none filter.

The people who strongly opposed a filter still opposed a filter, and the people who strongly wanted to block the "naughty bits" had zero interest in a toothless block-everything filter which no one would use. At that point virtually all support for the project collapsed.

That sort of filter is a viable option, but there just isn't any significant active support for it. Alsee (talk) 12:38, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Soften the notification number[edit]

Surprisingly, I don't find this in our drop-the-stick list.

Despite exhortations in the guidelines, many editors experience an adrenaline spike when they get reverted, and this makes it that much more difficult to stay calm in one's reaction to the revert. This would seem to increase the frequency and severity of edit wars. Considering the known psychological effects of different colors, would it not make sense to use a soft blue or soft green, instead of a bright red, for the background around the notification number? I think we're waving a red cape in front of a human bull in many cases, if not most. ―Mandruss  13:33, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

For reference, the current colour is  #BD2400 . EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 21:42, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree that the big red square looks too much like an error message (or the more severe warning messages that we place on talk pages). I would completely support a blue to match, for example, Information.svg or, as a compromise, an orange to match Information orange.svg. --Ahecht (TALK
PAGE
) 15:10, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
It's hard to think of something which, though likely of very minor value (though maybe not...) would be so easy to try and ought to be uncontroversial. But watch -- someone will argue against it. EEng (talk) 16:07, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I'll revise my suggestions slightly:  #00528C  to match the bullets in the watchlist or  #F9C557  to match the "You have new messages" background. --Ahecht (TALK
PAGE
) 20:45, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
See WP:BIKESHED. That's my last comment on the importance of this issue. --Jayron32 16:14, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Since the nuclear power plant has already been built, there's no reason why we shouldn't have a nice bike shed there. I'm sure my blood pressure goes up when I get a notification; a blue like Ahecht suggested above might decrease the stress a little.  SchreiberBike | ⌨  16:24, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
It's only BIKESHED if people fuss over this obviously sensible, harmless change. It's a good idea and we should do it. EEng (talk) 16:33, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm honestly not buying it. In any case, blue would blend in too well with the existing personal bar links, so orange should be used at a minimum from Mandruss' suggestions. BethNaught (talk) 16:36, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Purple's a nice cool color. EEng (talk) 16:47, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I think multicoloured would be quite nice. Trout71 (talk) 17:08, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support but only if the colour is #a5427e, and if colour is spelled with the u. If you keep it the same or change it to any other shade of any colour or spell it without the u, I will take it to WP:ANI. Seriously, though, it's a reasonable idea, and any of the suggested colours would be fine. Ivanvector (talk) 18:38, 15 April 2015 (UTC) The u is kinda important though.
  • Support changing the color without the u - I do think that a bright red is too likely to cause edit wars, or make them more severe. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 19:58, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support in particular green. Most of my notification list is thanks, or the occasional notice that I've been mentioned somewhere, but the red does seem more like an error message than anything. Jerod Lycett (talk) 20:00, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Something like the  #008560  used by {{tq}}  #008740  used in the flow logo? I kind of like that. --Ahecht (TALK
PAGE
) 22:18, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support in particular orange, as the old message bar. Red works for alerts on less disputatious sites, but not here. NebY (talk) 20:36, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure I agree that this will accomplish anything, but I certainly don't see any harm or reason to object to it. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:40, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Green or (if green doesn't pass) orange or (as mentioned above) purple. Really, any cool, calm, not-red color. EEng (talk) 19:44, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Alternative but support for the idea in principle even if it is a marginal gain), There was an education study done that showed Green is a much better colour for teachers making HW/Tests based on the effects on students, so perhaps Green is better? --- :D Derry Adama (talk) 20:31, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I like the  #F9C557  so it doesn't just blend in with the rest of the blue interface and links. Maybe toning down the wording would help too, currently it says "Your edit on [page] has been reverted by [user]. (Show changes)". I think maybe something like "Your edit on [page] has been undone by [user]. (Show changes)". What do you think? EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 21:19, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Maybe change the word revert to pervert, so it says "Your edit on [page] has been perverted by [user]. (Show perversions)". EEng (talk) 22:14, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - I really think soft (pale) is important here, as important as not red. Most of these examples are hard. We only need enough contrast that a notification won't be easy to miss. I'd gladly offer a suggestion or two, but I'm not very handy with color pickers. ―Mandruss  23:03, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support  #F9C557  per Ahecht and EoRdE6. I've always found  #BD2400  a bit off-putting, but any change can't come too close to the text color, as I would expect matching File:Information.svg might. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 23:16, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support in principle; I've thought the same before. I'm not convinced of the usability of the colours that've been proposed. Alakzi (talk) 23:28, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Changing the color to a less noticeable color could be problematic. If a new user making problematic edits doesn't notice that they have a message, you have a situation where they keep on doing whatever it is without knowing that they're doing anything wrong. A softer color is less likely to elicit a click. --Yair rand (talk) 00:44, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Messages on talk pages don't leave a mere notification number; there's accompanying text as well—which, I should note, uses #F9C557 or something virtually identical. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 00:47, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, getting an adrenaline spike if you are reverted is exactly as it should be, unless you're a spammer or vandal expecting reverts. –Be..anyone (talk) 01:31, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Why should it be that way? Alakzi (talk) 01:33, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. One could argue the converse: "not getting an adrenaline spike if you are reverted is exactly as it should be, unless you're planning to go revert the reversion(s)." Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 04:20, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
Adrenaline spikes are rarely a good thing, at Wikipedia or anywhere else, as they hinder the ability to think clearly and calmly. They evolved to aid escape (run like hell!) or defense (fight like hell!) when in danger. So I'm afraid you've lost me there, Be..anyone. ―Mandruss 
  • Support Comment - I like paler, and "You have new messages" could be changed to match. #8EED9D and #CBBAE8:  1   You have new messages   1   You have new messages Mandruss  11:37, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Looks popular, and assuming it remains so the next step would be picking the particular color. If no consensus emerges here I'd suggest showing examples of various colors and asking people to pick their 1st-2nd-3rd choices. Herostratus (talk) 11:30, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I would like to point out the fact that red is the notification color of choice of almost all major websites when it comes to small size indicators. By diverging from that, we isolate ourselves from a common well understood paradigm for users. We also diverge from mainline MediaWiki software, giving users a different experience throughout the WMF properties (just at a time where we finally have brought all the accounts together), which seems unwise to me, and we aren't measuring the effect of all this in any sort of scientific responsible way, which I also think is the WRONG way to make decisions like these. Perhaps the textual messaging is the problem here, and not the color of the notification indicator. Perhaps we should just disable that type of notification. Why is no one asking those questions ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:48, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't know, but perhaps they could be asked separately without doing damage to Wikipedia? Must the scope of these things always be inflated to the point where no consensus is possible on anything? ―Mandruss  11:57, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support go with Blue , Blue is good lightsaber, red is bad light saber. Bryce Carmony (talk) 17:36, 17 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support: change to dark blue or dark green matching below if possible, but nonetheless a less irate colour. 1Potato2Potato3Potato4 (talk) 10:43, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Note - added column nC and proposal 7. ―Mandruss  11:54, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Ahh, this would explain my road rage at traffic lights. I'm fine with any softer shade, but prefer  #F9C557  despite (not because) it matches my sig. --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 12:33, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. Although I'd much rather have a complete reskinning and modernization of Wikipedia's design (and a dark theme already, my eyes hurt!), I suppose this color change would help. Whenever I see the alert, I'm worried I messed up and someone's alerting me of it. Maybe this is due in part to the color itself. In any case, the red color certainly alerts me, but can do so to the point that it's distracting. A different color may benefit us, even if it comes at the expense of decreased conspicuity. ―Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 13:46, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Note - added proposals 8, 9, and 10, per Nøkkenbuer's comments in the next section. ―Mandruss  14:03, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment – Would it be possible to make this customizable or something similar? With this many choices below, I have some doubts that any majority agreement will be reached. Dustin (talk) 15:55, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
    That's why I tentatively suggested two rounds of voting in the following subsection. Customization would be a bigger software job and thus harder to pass. Even if passed here, it would likely wait longer in the developer priority queue. I'd prefer to keep this proposal at its current size, but you're welcome to make your own separate proposal. ―Mandruss  16:01, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment – I think we should consider not using colors but instead a black and white pattern. Bus stop (talk) 16:31, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
The problem with that is that I doubt many would notice it. The color is intended to draw attention to the notification, since it is a notification. Black-and-white is probably the least noticeable color scheme we could use in this situation. ―Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 18:06, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Some patterns such as polka dots with intersecting sine waves rendered in black and white are very recognizable without color. Bus stop (talk) 19:28, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support I think it's, at the very least, worth trialling some different colours, red does seem too 'You've done something wrong' and not enough 'here's a notice of something you'll likely be interested to know about'. Not sure on the particular colour, none of the options below grab me straight away, but I also support the idea of collecting colours and voting a few favourites through to a new poll if there is support for change. Sam Walton (talk) 18:21, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I prefer the red because it stands out. It's also a color widely used for notifications online and on platforms such as the iPhone. Perhaps we should let individual users pick their own preferences. Calidum T|C 21:49, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - it needs to be bright to catch the attention, and as others have pointed out it's consistent with other systems. No objection if it's made a user choice, as long as I can keep red. JohnCD (talk) 22:08, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
That's actually a good idea; an option within each editor's preferences to change the color to his/her own liking, as noted above, "bigger software job" notwithstanding. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 22:21, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
This is possible to do manually now. It has been suggested at least a couple of times before, in 2013 and 2014, and both discussions include simple solutions using CSS, which are being used already by editors.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 10:31, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Much obliged! Just created the appropriate page in meta; works perfectly. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 19:59, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@JohnBlackburne: except I can't figure out how to change the "you have new messages" text color. Clearly, I'm not a coder. Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 01:26, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
See Quiddity (WMF)'s post at the very end of this section (not sub-section), it has CSS for both.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 01:43, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't work right at Meta; there's a parameter missing or something ... —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 01:52, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
See the opening post and the first three comments at #Wouldn't this be better as a new preferences option?. The original intent of this proposal has very little to do with personal preferences. If we've segued into that area, I'd gently suggest that we're off topic. Also see some (I think) interesting discussion at the beginning of #Colo(u)r nominations. ―Mandruss  14:11, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support as proposer, and I think a proposer should have a lot to say about what is being proposed. Others are free to make their own separate proposals. Besides, I once suggested modifying someone else's proposal after some !voting had occurred, in response to Opposers' concerns, and that was not allowed because it would have required all existing !votes to be discarded (or at least re-evaluated by the respective !voters, many of whom were no longer involved in the discussion). This looks like the same situation to me. (meta: It astounds me that, after 14 years, en-Wikipedia has yet to establish clear ground rules for orderly processes. We do love the chaos, frustration, and wasted time, it seems.) ―Mandruss  09:45, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
[meta]: We do have clear ground rules for the orderly process by which decisions are made on Wikipedia. They are here: Wikipedia:Consensus. The problem with the process described below is it does not seem designed to establish consensus – or at least it is not mentioned at any point – and seems flawed in a number of ways. The result of a poll is no substitution for discussion, but that seems to be what’s being proposed below (though "Details will be determined later". how? By a further "vote"? By discussion? By proposer fiat?). Normally a higher degree of consensus is required for changes to policies than e.g. for content discussions, and if anything an even higher one for changes to the Mediawiki software. In this case because this is part of the software on all Wikipedias if it needs changing it needs changing globally, for consistency, not locally, but that cannot be done here.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 11:29, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Arguments have been presented in this subsection, per WP:CONSENSUS. If the Opposes win, the color selection is moot, but that doesn't mean we can't proceed with the color selection anyway. Besides, one's Support or Oppose might depend on what colors have been presented as alternatives to the status quo, no? Isn't that what you said yesterday? In that sense, color selection might be viewed as prerequisite to !voting. I can't imagine how one would argue for one color choice over another, beyond saying that they find it more visually appealing, so that part is properly a vote, not a !vote.
"Details will be determined later" refers to the specific details of the color selection voting process. There are at least two ways that could go that I believe would be sufficiently fair and accurate for this purpose (we're not electing a president here). Yes, I intended to simply choose one, and I think "proposer fiat" is hyperbolic. If people wish to spend time debating those details, fine, and that will tend to validate claims of BIKESHED in this matter. It will also introduce another opportunity to stall the process and derail the entire proposal, due to lack of a sub-consensus. ―Mandruss  11:54, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I had to look up WP:BIKESHED, an essay I had not had reason to look at before. "Don't get hung up on minor details." That would describe the premiss of this yes, a minor interface details that editors can easily fix for themselves. But lack of consensus is not a minor detail. WP:Consensus is a core policy, Wikipedia is not a democracy and holding a vote on this is the wrong way to go about it.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 14:38, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
As I said, consensus applies in this subsection. I don't know that WP:CONSENSUS implies that we have to establish consensus for every detail of the process. I'll revise my comments, as this is an argument for a color choice. Nonetheless, I don't know how a closer would decide between multiple viable arguments as to color — such arguments can't be policy-based —, so that part would end up an effective vote anyway. I'm interested in other opinions on this, but I'm for voting on the color and !voting on the proposal, just for sake of simple expediency. Let's not overthink something that several experienced editors have criticized as BIKESHED. In the end, it's about whether the bright orange-red is the best choice or not for the notification number; the rest is minutiae. ―Mandruss  14:49, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Alternatively, you could volunteer to design this process, in detail, the way you think it should be done. Give us something specific. Someone has to attend to these details; it's not enough to make the general observation that "things should be done by consensus" and expect the process to proceed to a resolution without some structure. ―Mandruss  15:16, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
This: come up with a proposal for the new colours, with a rationale for your choice, considering as many of the factors and objections that you can, including the many times it has been raised before. Then post it here as a proposal, and see if there is consensus for the change. A simple, one step process based on consensus.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 15:53, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I see. So the problem is that my proposal was not specific enough. And we're to assume that it will be either up or down on that specific proposal, with no suggestions for modification? ―Mandruss  16:03, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict)See this, then, as an open and largely co-operative process of forming a single proposal for a new colour scheme, or as a consultation stage, if you prefer a more top-down model. NebY (talk) 16:12, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
One or two of us are making a more serious issue of this than the vast majority appear to. I'm not inclined to put together the full-blown legal case that JohnBlackburne requires, for a little color change. Here at Wikipedia, no question can be too small to argue for weeks or months about, only to fail for lack of clear consensus (see another recent example). I hope the majority will speak up and express their opposition to this approach; absent that, I think I'm done here and this can be closed or continued in whatever direction the remaining participants wish. ―Mandruss  16:39, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@Mandruss: please do carry on. There's clear interest in moving away from the old scheme, editors are continuing to join the discussion constructively (in itself an endorsement of your process, even if they don't also comment right here) and others who have already commented will be looking forward to the next stage, we've valuable input on feasibility and alternatives from within WMF, and your plan has an excellent chance of producing a clear outcome within a reasonable time. NebY (talk) 22:44, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
@NebY: Ok, with that comment I'm prepared to continue to move my process along, even if it's unclear whether it will be of any benefit in the end. I'll leave the rest, including debate with JohnBlackburne and discussion of phab, to others. ―Mandruss  23:09, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Support  #008560  - This was brought up either this year or last .... IMHO the notification colours do need to change. –Davey2010Talk 14:59, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Worth mentioning in my search for earlier mentions I came across the tasks at top right which would probably address some peoples concerns here, by allowing for different displays for different sorts of notifications. While changing the colour can be done locally and even individually varying it by type of notification requires a change to the underlying software. These go much further than just a simple colour change, and so would render the outcome of this proposal largely moot if implemented. T94634 in particular is quite new, active and being brainstormed. With three open bugs/requests it seems likely something will come out of them. There’s nothing to stop editors here participating in the discussions at phabricator on those tasks.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 17:20, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Support - every time I see that red number, it freaks me out just a little. And that panic is unnecessary. — kikichugirl oh hello! 19:17, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • NOTE - reminder, the local defaults should only be changed if the proposed colors pass WCAG. Please test all color combinations against http://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/ for accessibility. Cheers :) Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 23:40, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
    @Quiddity (WMF): Are we testing per WCAG AA or WCAG AAA? I have stricken those that fail WCAG AA, but some of the remaining ones fail WCAG AAA. ―Mandruss  00:57, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
    @Mandruss: WCAG AA at minimum, although that should be sufficient in this case because it isn't a long string of text. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 01:29, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's meant to be attention-grabbing. One needs one's attention grabbed when one has been mentioned in a comment, or one's edit reverted. Red is by far the best colour for this. — This, that and the other (talk) 09:21, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • weak support any colour is attention-grabbing really...I think just a bit less overt would be nice. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:27, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Process description[edit]

  • Colo(u)r nominations will continue until 26 April, during which time there is no voting. Additional nominators will have to provide the colo(u)r codes, but I or someone else can do the table update for any nominator who is table-challenged.
  • On 26 April, I will ping all users then listed in the Interested parties subsection (below), all existing votes will be discarded, and a first round of voting will begin. Any user (pinged or not) may then vote for up to three choices. Details will be determined later.
  • Per the above, there's no point in any further voting before 26 April, and any premature votes will be ignored. This will ensure that each voter has seen all the candidates.
  • On 6 May, three finalists will be determined and presented, interested parties will be pinged, and the second round of voting will begin. Details will be determined later.
  • On 16 May, the winner will be determined and presented and ... wait for it ... interested parties will be pinged. ―Mandruss  19:29, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Interested parties[edit]

This list will be used to notify interested parties of developments such as the start of a voting round (described above). Add or strike yourself as desired. ―Mandruss  17:32, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

(Remember that {{ping}} won't work at all if more than 20 users are listed in a single invocation.) EEng (talk) 19:02, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanx. I didn't know that. Ain't collaboration great? ―Mandruss  19:07, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

1Potato2Potato3Potato4, Ahecht, Alakzi, Allen3, ATinySliver, Be..anyone, Beeblebrox, BethNaught, Bryce Carmony, Bus stop, Calidum, Casliber, Davey2010, DerryAdama, Dustin V. S., EEng, EoRdE6, Fauzan, Herostratus, Ivanvector, Jayron32, Jerodlycett, JohnBlackburne, JohnCD, Kharkiv07, Kikichugirl, Mandruss, NebY, Nøkkenbuer, Od Mishehu, Quiddity (WMF), Racerx11, Samwalton9, SchreiberBike, Technical 13, TheDJ, This, that and the other, Trout71, Yair rand

Colo(u)r nominations[edit]

Voting round 1[edit]

Anyone may vote here, whether pinged or not.

You have six votes that you may distribute between one, two, or three candidates. If you like only one candidate, give it all six votes. If you like two candidates, distribute your votes between them evenly (3/3) or unevenly (4/2 or 5/1). For three candidates, your voting could be 2/2/2, 3/2/1, or 4/1/1.

Any votes that total less than six (why?) will be accepted and counted, but any votes totalling more than six will be flagged and ignored. If this happens to you, you may fix it at any time before 6 May, but you probably will not be notified of the error.

You may write your votes in any way that's clear. One very concise example is like this: 7B(4) 0A(2)

You will be added to #Interested parties if not already listed there.

On 6 May, three finalists will be determined by a simple count of votes, #Interested parties will be pinged, and the second round of voting will begin.

n nA nB nC
0
(current)
#BD2400/white  1   You have new messages  - -
1 #00528C/white  1   You have new messages   1   You have new messages  -
2 #F9C557/black  1   You have new messages  - -
3 #008560/white  1   You have new messages   1   You have new messages  -
4 #F9C557/black
#008560/white
- -  1   You have new messages 
5 #8EED9D/black  1   You have new messages   1   You have new messages  -
6 #CBBAE8/black  1   You have new messages   1   You have new messages  -
7 #ED8EDE/black
#8EED9D/black
- -  1   You have new messages 
9 #006400/white  1   You have new messages   1   You have new messages  -
10 #008740/white  1   You have new messages   1   You have new messages  -
11 #F9C557/#006400  1   You have new messages   1   You have new messages  -
  1. 6B(3) 3B(3)Mandruss  12:22, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  2. 3B(5) 6B(1) 1Potato2Potato3Potato4 (talk) 12:40, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  3. 6B(5) 5B (1) Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 13:06, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  4. 2A(6) --RacerX11 Talk to meStalk me 13:14, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  5. 1B(5) 3B(1).Davey2010Talk 13:24, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  6. 1A(4) 3A(2) - Sam Walton (talk) 13:33, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  7. 5B(2) 6B(2) 7C(2) EEng (talk) 13:54, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  8. 1B(6) Dustin (talk) 14:57, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  9. 7C(4) 4C(2) EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 15:05, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  10. 1A(5) 1B(1) Kharkiv07Talk 15:18, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  11. 5B(3) 6B(3) Trout71 (talk) 15:53, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  12. 3B(3) 5B(3) --- :D Derry Adama (talk) 16:33, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  13. 1B(2) 3B(2) 9B(2)Nøkkenbuer (talkcontribs) 16:38, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  14. 1A(4) 2A(1) 9A(1) Ivanvector (talk) 17:51, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  15. 3A(2) 9A(2) 10A(2) --Fauzan✆ talk✉ mail 18:27, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  16. 11B(3), 11A(2), 2A(1)ATinySliver/ATalkPage 19:43, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  17. 1A(6) Jerod Lycett (talk) 20:52, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  18. 1A(6) Bryce Carmony (talk) 21:44, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  19. 1B(3), 3B(3)  SchreiberBike | ⌨  21:58, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  20. 0A(6) Like just about every other website. — This, that and the other (talk) 07:59, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
  21. 3A(6) Though not opposed to the other green options (9 and 10). --Ahecht (TALK
    PAGE
    ) 14:09, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
  22. abstain. This is gonna end in a 'design by committee' problem where no one will be satisfied. Also acting like this on 'gut' feeling without, metrics etc. is exactly what we keep throwing into the WMF's face when it comes to changes like this, it's hypocritical. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:46, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Can you describe how we might establish a metric for the effect of the color of the notification number on people's reactions to reverts? Shall we conduct a months-long study testing various colors in various segments of the editor population, tracking frequency of edit warring associated with each color, to justify a small color change? Who will do that, and what will not get done while they're doing it? Overthink. ―Mandruss  15:44, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
  23. 1B (4), 3B (2) Herostratus (talk) 16:41, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
  24. 3B(3), 6B(2), 1B(1) kennethaw88talk 02:34, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Another plan[edit]

  • I'm sorry, what are y'all voting on? As far as I'm aware the plan is to have a dynamic color based upon the type of notification. So, there will be no static color and my understanding of this vote based on the table above, this vote is a moot point. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 20:02, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
@Technical 13: what is the status of that plan? Is it definitely on the developers' work schedule to deliver it, and if so when will it be delivered? Does it depend on progress of the larger project to replace the current talk page system? I ask these questions because it's not unusual (within Wikipedia or elsewhere) to see simple suggestions - that could have been quickly implemented - dismissed with a promise that eventually something much better will be delivered and yet, for one reason or another, that much better solution is perpetually delayed, or lost in the collapse of another project.
Meanwhile, I'm giving this discussion its own header. It may be that despite your posting, your fellow editors will still want to (!)vote and we don't want to interleave this discussion with those votes. NebY (talk) 20:43, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Phab:T57359#1224097 -- > Just waiting for implementation of a class to be added to the growler (echo flyout) for each new notification which is more likely to happen than getting them to just change the color (which you can do yourself with css by adding to your own personal common.css .mw-echo-unread-notifications { background-color: ‹your color choice› !important; color: ‹your color choice› !important; }. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 23:40, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, you can make it global. (Oddly, while it balks at "!important", it won't work otherwise.) —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 23:48, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
I'll remind everyone that, while this vote might be about personal preferences, the proposal itself is not; thus the possibility of a personal change does not address the issue. Anyone who is unclear on this point is encouraged to read the opening post and perhaps the first three comments at #Wouldn't this be better as a new preferences option?. ―Mandruss  23:55, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
That's more information than is available at Phab:T57359#1224097 but doesn't tell us whether it's definitely on the developers' work schedule to deliver it, and if so when it will be delivered. You do tell us that it depends on other progress without indicating whether the latter is itself on the developers work schedule or when it will be delivered. NebY (talk) 16:11, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Wouldn't this be better as a new preferences option?[edit]

As noted above by Jayron32, this is a WP:BIKESHED problem. As such, it seems unlikely that a large group of self selected individuals will agree on a single colo(u)r scheme. An obvious means to get around this problem is to create a new preference that allows anyone with a registered account to select the shades they prefer. Default values can remain at the current settings, or be battled over by those who feel a need to control the configurations of others, as any values selected are guaranteed to wrong. --Allen3 talk 21:20, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Except that one of the stated problems we want to solve is new users seeing a revert as an "error message" and having a battlefield mentality. This is not just an issue of personal preference, but rather a discussion of what the default should be. The users who would know how to change the notification color are exactly the kind of users that would be least impacted by the change. --Ahecht (TALK
PAGE
) 21:28, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Precisely; thank you; except that many not-so-new editors would apparently benefit, too, and knowing about the preference setting wouldn't mean understanding the potential benefit, or even recognizing any need for a change in the way you react to a revert. This change does not benefit the people "seeing the red" so much as the people they are working with and the community as a whole (e.g., admins who have to deal with edit wars, etc). ―Mandruss  23:39, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I adore preferences, I've written about it at length over at mw:Requests for comment/Redesign user preferences (particularly here on the talkpage). But developers really dislike adding preferences, because it is more userpref columns in the database, more code complexity, more code variations to test everything against, and more code to maintain/consider forever going forward; similarly, product managers dislike preferences because they add to the complexity of the already fairly extensive special:preferences tabs (which is a problem because it effectively reduces the probability of the widely useful preferences being discovered & used). Hence this small aesthetic tweak would not be a good candidate for a user-preference
Instead, either the local default could be changed (as suggested above), or the global default could be changed (which would need a vastly wider discussion), or individuals could tweak it for themselves with user.css (I'd recommend this option) - Just add this code to your special:mypage/common.js: .mw-echo-unread-notifications {background-color: #00528C !important; color: #FFF !important;} for the badge, and .mw-echo-alert {background-color: #00528C !important; color: #FFF !important;} for the talkpage notification (changing the color codes as desired).
Regarding the discussion above, the local defaults should only be changed if the proposed colors pass WCAG. Please test all color combinations against http://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/
Hope that helps. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 21:57, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I haven't read this whole discussion, but I actually worked on this very thing awhile back with User:Technical 13/SandBox/Notification colorizer.js but had to drop the idea for now because there is currently no way to access the types of notifications in the flyout until it is expanded. I've mentioned this in the Phab ticket, and hope it will be acted up in a way that will allow completion of the script I started. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 11:46, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

More options in Wikilove[edit]

Those who develop WP software , can create more attractive and sleek Barstar pictures. Almost every Barnstar looks like made of wood . There is only Kitten , but even colourful birds and aquarium fishes should be available instead of only one option "A Kitten for you" . I agree "Make your own" is available where we can create our own design ourselves . But it would be better to have Wikilove pictures to get updated now.--CosmicEmperor (talk) 05:35, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

I was wondering whether it is time for new barnstars that get rid of the skeuomorphic design in favour of the newer style of the internet. Note, thus isn't the job of "those who develop WP software", its up to whoever edits the barnstar templates. I like what the teahouse has going, simple flat and colourful modern looking ones. Ill link one in a second. EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 13:31, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
File:Teahouse Barnstar Hires.png CC BY-SA 3.0 Heather Walls Teahouse Barnstar
See how simple and colourful this barnstar is? EoRdE6(Come Talk to Me!) 13:34, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Feel free to ping me or post to my talk page with specific ideas as I've done a lot of barnstars (specifically the Teahouse ones)/welcomes/custom wikiLove scripts (such as the Teahouse one and my ACC one). I'd be happy to offer technical assistance with development. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 14:00, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
    • @Technical 13: Can you create barnstars which is like glass , crystal , with colourful back ground. After that it has to be approved by administrators which will replace the old-school designs.@EoRdE6: Now only Teahouse is looking good.CosmicEmperor (talk) 10:03, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
      • I'm not a very visual person, if you can draw me a picture or give me a link so I can have an idea of what you mean by "like glass/crystal" then I can turn it into a real barnstar. :) — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 10:41, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Technical 13: . Okay these might help. But will administrators accept you hard work?

http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120405195837/creepypasta/images/7/7a/Crystal_star.png
http://copperpyramids.net/images/DSCN2245.JPG
https://fb0c68d2a86204ac4d87-d5263dbb6817347ef00a6d0c2777828c.ssl.cf3.rackcdn.com/m_products_products_photo/2000x2000/glass-star-achievement-awards-engraved-4-124113.jpg
http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/campanula-star-flower-mandala-rene-crystal.jpg
http://art.ngfiles.com/images/45000/45800_chronamut_cosmic-star-flower.png
http://cdn.vectorstock.com/i/composite/20,22/spring-flower-star-vector-572022.jpg
http://th09.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/i/2013/343/a/6/my_angel_winged_star_tattoo_design___3_by_shannonxnaruto-d6xclzg.jpg
C E (talk) 07:05, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
  • There is actually... let me find it... WP:AWARDS for the discussion of creating new barnstars. That said, since we've already started the discussion here, the steps to do this would be to decide what you want each barnstar to say, and which graphic to use for each one. For example, Media:Cosmic-star-flower.png could be used to create a new "Cosmic Contributor" barnstar. I'm not sure what good wording would be, and that's where you guys will have to come in. Once there is a set of new barnstars that you want to package up and add to WikiLove, then I can create a custom WikiLove userscript that you can use. No administrator "acceptance" is required up to this point. Once the user script is created and we have beta tested it and no bugs or issues have been found, we can hold a public forum to see if they are interesting enough and useful enough to the general enwp community and what level of inclusion the community wants - be it a gadget (on/off by default), integrated into MediaWiki:Common.js, or some other level of community acceptance (admin acceptance still not required). I'll also note that the image I've already added to Commons is the only one from your list that is not assumed copyrighted, so that will certainly be a factor in developing barns starts. There can be absolutely NO unfree images for barnstars. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 12:51, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Quick plausibiliy check, you are both aware of c:category:Wikimedia barnstars, aren't you? Barnstars almost trump certain male body parts on commons.Face-tongue.svgBe..anyone (talk) 13:50, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I was aware it existed despite the fact I did not know the exact location. Does not exclude the ability to add more free images to the category and create new barnstars if these editors wish to do so. I'll happily assist with my template and javascript abilities as needed. — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 14:20, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
@Be..anyone: Those barnstars are not as attractive as the Teahouse barnstar. C E (talk) 15:00, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
@Technical 13: I don't want to copy the exact images as i don't have any copyright. I just showed those pictures to answer your question about what i meant about barnstars which looked like glass and crystal. I thought you can draw like an artist. Are you alone or there are others also. And we can also add those colourful aquarium fishes along with kittens. C E (talk) 14:54, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Another take on why newbies find Wikipedia unfriendly[edit]

Thoughts sparked by the long discussion above on discouraging biting.

If a new driver were encouraged to start without any instruction or preparation, simply getting into the driver's seat and setting off into the traffic as soon as he had worked out how to start the car, he would certainly find the highway an unfriendly place, with people hooting, flashing and yelling at him and police flagging him down and issuing warnings and threats.

A Wikipedia newbie is in very much this position, and it is no wonder that many newbies' talk pages contain strings of notices and warnings. Making constructive edits to an encyclopedia is not a simple task, and pretending that it is helps no-one; but the whole message to new users is still "Come on in, it's easy!".

If new users, until reaching some standard like autopatrolled, were prevented from creating articles directly but had to go through AfC or a similar process, they could be given advice rather than see their first attempts deleted. An incompetent article with possibilities could be worked on out of view of the readers. If newbies were more strongly encouraged, or even somehow required, to read a basic page or two of introduction like WP:YFA, the time spent would be amply repaid in saved time and trouble later.

Another step which would save a lot of wasted time and frustration for many newbies, and greatly lighten the load on new page patrollers and admins, would be to explain before sign-up that Wikipedia is a project to build an encyclopedia, with standards on notability and verifiability, and is not a social-networking site for people to write about themselves, or a free advertising platform for telling the world about their companies. Of course, some would press on regardless, but many might desist who are now encouraged to join and create unsuitable pages, often putting in considerable effort, before we tell them "sorry, but that's not what Wikipedia is for".

Of course ACTRIAL, a more modest proposal on these lines in 2011, was summarily vetoed by the WMF, seemingly on the grounds that no kind of obstacle must ever be put in the way of anyone who wishes to edit; but considerable changes are now happening at the top of the WMF and a new proposal on these lines might at least be listened to. JohnCD (talk) 21:53, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

It is true that misguided attempts to make Wikipedia look welcoming ("Come on in, it's easy!") might well be the thing that does most to make Wikipedia look unwelcoming. And giving an explanation what Wikipedia is and what an account can be used for in Special:Login (instead of claiming "Wikipedia is made by people like you." which is misleading - at the very least, other encyclopedias are not written by dogs and geese either) would be a step in a right direction. But making one use WP:Articles for Creation until one gets WP:Autopatrolled is too much. People are different. For example, someone who mostly edits other Wikipedias is not going to have "autopatrolled" flag. --Martynas Patasius (talk) 22:32, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
The only way to really teach people how to engage in a complex social and technical task like WP editing is by guided experience, with a guide knowledgeable in the task but also in the art of guiding, assisting people individually, one at a time, in detail. This is not easy and there are no shortcuts--I try to do this, but I think I do it fully only once every month, and succeed about half the time.
The limiting factor is that while we have about 2,000 people here at least who can write a good article, we have perhaps 200 who can effectively help someone, and perhaps 20 who can really teach the art of helping. The qualities needed for proper teaching are not preferentially found among people attracted to systems like WP, who will always be predominantly loners. This is to a large part inherent to the nature of WP, and while there might be improvement if our contributors become more diverse, there cannot be expected to be a quick solution. DGG ( talk ) 00:18, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree with the principles behind the ACTRIAL refusal, which would also apply here. WP is the encyclopaedia anyone can edit, and that means anyone without asking first, without going through any sort of application process or tutorial process. They can and should just jump in and edit. The problem with anything that gets in the way of that, no matter how well intentioned, is it will deter editors. Every extra step they have to take, every additional sentence they have to read, will cause some to give up, close the browser window, go do something else, and we will lose those editors and their contributions.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 00:53, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
The key point in editor retention is the first big argument. If we want to retain editors we should cede some ground to argumentative new editors. It happens all the time that a new editor realizes that something is impossibly wrong and that they are in opposition to many seasoned editors. Some concession should be made at that point to the new editor's argument. Bus stop (talk) 02:02, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I have been pinged for my thoughts here. I was one of the major driving forces behind the WP:ACTRIAL project even if I was not the actual nominator of the various RfC that led up to it. The proposal came about as part of research by me, Blade, WSC and a couple of others into possibilities of vastly improving WP:NPP which is our only firewall against all kinds of unwanted new pages. The consensus was vetoed in the first instance by junior paid devs and their decision was rapidly supported in not-too-polite terms by very senior influential staff who are still in their positions immediately below the CEO/vice-CEO. What we got in response to our concerns was the excellent new software suite for WP:NPP developed by the Foundation; unfortunately it did not and could not of course even remotely address the actual problems with NPP for which we were searching for solutions and which today are more critical than ever, What we must also absolutely not ignore is the experience drawn from the ailing and even worse performing project at WP:AFC where also a huge number of totally inappropriate pages are submitted and are (or should be) declined and deleted on the spot.
Wikipedia is the only serious web site that does not need registration to be able to edit. Websites, forums, and and blogs that require registration and/or review of new content by a moderator do not appear to deter their contributors. I have never seen any compelling arguments or conclusive proof that making wannabe Wikipedia new-article creators waiting 4 days and 10 edits to be able to create an article in mainspace would deter the serious , mature person from creating their first article.
Rome was not built in a day and an encyclopedia is also a perpetual ongoing process. Nothing is so urgent that it needs to be published immediately - not even the artspam bios for political candidates shortly before ele3ctions or soccer player bios that consist generally of little more than an infobox and of which we have literally tens of thousands of entries..
The decision to accept the restriction that would have been tested by WP:ACTRIAL was denied even that test. Times change, Wikipedia continues to evolve. It has evolved already into an information resource where most of the traditional encyclopedia articles have already been created and are now under permanent maintenance and updating. It has clearly evolved into a place where spammers and paid editors are rising to the challenge to circumvent our non-advertising policies and in this they are largely successful - not only, but also due to the fact that even some admins offer such 'professional' services and are hard to expose. My Wikipedia energy and that of some other prominent editors and admins who have already left, is being significantly eroded by those who use my volunteer time for their profit. The motion to restrict the creation of new articles was carried by a very large community participation and an overwhelming majority, it is time to review this position again because what users like DGG and I and a few others can do to combat the junk is only a tiny drop in the ocean. Time to decide whther to introduce restrictions or continue to lose editors who like me, are sick and tired of what some editors/creators are allowed to get away with.
So to recapitulate, I interpret the core Foundation policy as 'Wikipedia is the encyclopedia anyone can edit ' (emphasis mine), but I do not interpret that even broadly construed to mean 'Wikipedia is the encyclopedia for which evety crank, delinquent, and spammer can create a new article live in mainspace' . Time to decide whether to introduce restrictions or continue to lose editors, admins, and maintenance workers who are sick and tired of of fighting a losing battle and a Foundation that is isolating itself exponentially from the realities down here at the coal face and is turning itself into an NGO-style salary-paying machine. The biting will stop when the Foundation finally gets round to creating the new inter-active welcome page they rpomised 4 years ago. But no, they prefer to develop and impose software solutions that nobody asked for and nobody wants - anyone who can edit a common web forum or an online-site builder can very easily get to grips with editing Wikipedia, and if not, for genuine new-article creators, plenty (if not already too much) help is on hand. QED. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 02:25, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I've got to say, I'm still sore about how all of that happened and my view on the matter hasn't changed. Although it's not the reason I initially took a 2+ year retreat into a specific topic, it's part of the reason I'm still doing so today; I currently use Wikipedia as an outlet for some interests of mine that I wouldn't otherwise have someplace to perseverate on without very serious stigma. Although I'd be a liar if I said I was unhappy that it helps other people, I'd also be a liar if I said I was doing so out of some effort to help the Wikimedia Foundation. I personally find it deflating to see resources thrown at things such as the gender gap (if I may, speaking as a white heterosexual male who also has this to contend with, my feeling is that the WMF treats people like me as a monolithic group that doesn't need encouragement to edit here; even though I don't need or expect compliments for my writing I'd like it if, at least once in a while in the myriad discussions of Wikipedia identity politics, I wouldn't be treated as if my being white, heterosexual, and male is somehow a detriment to the mission of writing an encyclopedia) while entirely failing to address the issues that editors—that is, the people who are already established assets who want to do more—are looking to have resolved. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:40, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I sympathize; I was also diagnosed with PDD-NOS, and Wikipedia helps me deal with that. I also feel that we should be encouraging everyone to edit, regardless of age, gender or anything else, but laying aside a person directly wanting to make an edit, I've never seen anyone decide to become an editor, so I'm unsure what affect the GGTF has. I think that the discussion on WT:Flow might interest you. Origamite 03:46, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
This seems to ignore that a vast amount has been done to deal with unwelcome contributions. Including
Filters that catch many problem edits as they are made, including ones creating new pages
Bots that revert many problem edits quickly and automatically
Tags that help editors spot problem edits and editors
Navigation popups, Twinkle and many other tools that help editors identify and deal with problem edits and editors
All these work (and they do work very well) without imposing restrictions on the vast majority of edits, which I think is how it should be. Disruptive editing by new editors is annoying but I think quite manageable. Experienced editors that become disruptive are much harder to deal with, and up-front restrictions would do nothing to stop them.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 02:50, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
All of those were there before ACTRIAL, and are all quite useful. None of them stopped a page saying "Let's expose all burakus for what they are!!!! [link to a list of burakumin in a Japanese prefecture]" from appearing (if you don't know offhand how truly horrific that is that's part of the problem I'm getting at, most people wouldn't have recognized that for what it was), nor another accusing two men of conducting multiple sexual assaults on children. This sort of thing happens every day, and even if it can't be entirely eliminated it can be dramatically scaled back. Even for those which are not outright defamatory, we checked in 2011 and found that 75% of these pages were deleted within a week. Of the remaining 25% many were on some topic such as schools or places, which are notoriously resistant to deletion even in the face of blatant inaccuracies, and all ended up being an enormous time sink for those of us willing to take on NPP. I'm not sure if the proposal forming the basis of ACTRIAL would have resolved that, but we definitely don't know now because we never had a chance to try it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:08, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

My own experiences as a relatively new user may be of some help here. My experiences here have been quite mixed.

I found that the introductory material was quite unhelpful. It gave some very basic how to get started info that was useful to a point and then it just falls to pieces. The information on references was very basic and was not consistent with the more usual templates. More simply put, it was outdated and not very useful for anything other than references with a 1:1 relationship. Secondly, finding your way around the WP 'back of house' is pretty difficult. It makes it very hard to find out how to do things. My observation is that WP is a very user-friendly interface as an encyclopedia but not very user-friendly as a work environment. It needs better 'induction resources'. It also needs a better way to navigate through the material that makes up the 'work environment' - the 'how do I do this' and the 'how should this be done'. I have tried to get some interest in this at the Village pump but it appears to largely fall on deaf ears.
Secondly, I find that too much about style and related issues relies on 'unwritten rules',which a newbie can never hope to know until they have been bashed about the ears many times. It is a poor organisational structure that is based heavily on a culture of unwritten rules. WP editors are drawn from a global domain. There is very little that can reasonably be assumed to be 'universally understood'. Yet WP makes many assumptions to its detriment. Matters of style and editorial policy need to be stated clearly and unambiguously. It is not just about stating the mandatory but also what is optional or discretionary. In many cases, annotation can be a useful tool - something which is quite different from making the relevant material overly prescriptive. WP does not provide a structured environment within which to work. On one hand, it is very easy for a newbie to break the unwritten rules but on the other hand there is a strong resistance to and even open hostility to making these unwritten rules explicit.
Finally, WP markets itself as a collaborative and respectful experience. It is not. I do not suggest that this is a consequence of many but of a few. Unfortunately, the impact is disproportionate to their number and their conduct is not necessarily aimed only at newbies. Cinderella157 (talk) 05:39, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
Interesting. My experiences are different, but I was scared off originally. When I joined just over 2 years ago, I decided to make an organization like the AWWDMBJAWGCAWAIFDSPBATDMTAD. Accidentally, I put it in the wrong namespace. After some panicking when I saw the speedy template, I decided to quit Wikipedia. That November, I saw another edit I wanted to make, but I left again after that. It wasn't until February 2014 when I did some of The Wikipedia Adventure and I decided I wanted to edit some more, I'm not sure what to say--maybe suggest to more editors that they try TWA? Origamite 06:33, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't think we regulars mean to be cliquey and offputting to goodfaith newbies, but I'm aware that we can come across that way. I think we need a sharper divide between the way we deal with goodfaith newbies and badfaith ones, we also need some system changes to make the place less bitey. Top of my list, because it shouldn't cost much (certainly less than V/E, AFT or Flow), would have a big impact and the community would broadly welcome it, would be to fix some of the longstanding suggestions on phabricator to reduce edit conflicts. Adding a template or category to an article need not be treated as an edit conflict against adding the second sentence of an article, nobody likes having or causing edit conflicts, but we should keep pointing out to the WMF that they are one of the most frequent ways that newbies get bitten. To the programmers who run phabricator and who used to run bugzilla, these are a trivial issue not worth the time to fix - any programmer should be able to recover from an edit conflict and why should anyone else edit? But if we want to make Wikipedia more friendly to goodfaith newbies this is the easy uncontentious first step. ϢereSpielChequers 06:50, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
There are some really arrogant individuals out there who preside over particular domains. I say this in part from personal experience but to a larger extent from observation. For me though, the biggest thing is accessing information and making it easier to access. For an encyclopedia, we do a really poor job of presenting our internal information and of making it easily accessible. Cinderella157 (talk) 07:00, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
There are real issues here. Like it or not Wikipedia addresses all the issues of the day. Whole articles can be about an issue, or fragments of otherwise straightforward articles can bring to the forefront an issue about which editors disagree, sometimes heatedly. I think some editors leave in a huff when the odds are stacked against them having their voice heard. Everyone wants to express themselves. It can be fun doing minor odds and ends. I enjoy most edits. There is actually satisfaction in building something. When one knows that one has made an improvement, one becomes attached to the project. But it is a reality that disputation constitutes a lot of the activity around here. Just look at WP:AN/I. I think that personal clashes that involve article content become serious issues concerning editor retention. Sometimes a new editor feels strongly about something of this nature. It is then that we should be thinking about not biting the newbies. Bus stop (talk) 18:45, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
I'm guessing that most veteran editors don't take the time to tell the newbie what he did wrong and how to correct it in the future. A quick edit summary often doesn't cut it. I always try and put a welcome template on their talk page, but I don't always point them to the proper WikiProject where they could find even more help on the topic they edited. I would say "time" for me is the number one reason I don't always add a more personal note, but I do try especially in tennis articles. When I see a new good faith edit that is wrong, I find it helps to point them to the TennisProject guideline and talk page and to tell them we need new editors passionate about tennis, but that they need to follow past consensus decisions and my talk page is always open for any questions. But we don't always do that for lack of time (self included). But that approach has helped retain some now not-so-new editors that keep on top of heavily trafficked articles... bumpy at the beginning, but now generally with the program. The other thing that can stop a helpful talk page writeup is that after doing 90% mischief or vandalism reverts, a newbies' one word change gets lost in the shuffle and simply gets a "I feel the original word worked better" edit summary from me. After reading some of these posts here I'll try to keep a better watch for initial "good faith" edits, though anon IPs often only have one edit to their credit because they shift like revolving doors. Fyunck(click) (talk) 19:15, 20 April 2015 (UTC)
That's one of the reasons why I think we should turn away at the gate those many newbies who don't actually want to contribute to an encyclopedia, but are looking for a social-networking site, or a noticeboard where they can promote something. If we didn't have to spend so much time explaining to them that WP is not for what they want to do, there would be more time to help the newbies who really do want to contribute but haven't worked out how. JohnCD (talk) 22:15, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Above I see Twinkle being touted as something to "help editors". Frankly, that's a matter of opinion. Text-based communication is one of the worst, if not the worst way of communicating with newcomers. Knowing how they feel and how they might react is a total crapshoot, and their initial experience of WP is, as has been said before, a gamble of which patroller they run up against first. I try and do damage limitation on speedies wherever practical, but there's only so much work I can do, and there's plenty of other articles I read whose quality is found lacking. One question I haven't really seen asked before is - how many newbies have we bitten? That would be an interesting metric, as from my experience one bad experience with Wikipedia travels to that person's family and friends, exacerbating the decline.

We're now at the stage where we have far too many abandoned articles that nobody pays attention to. I've only got 40-50 articles I steward carefully (mostly ones I've taken to GA), and every time an IP adds a large piece of unsourced content to one I sigh and wonder if I can get away with reverting it, or whether I've got to copyedit and source their work for them. Not biting newbies is important, but I think we're now at the stage where we need to go further than that and look out for long-term article stewards. As we all know, Gregory Kohs took great advantage of this recently, and he found it was not hard to add blatant hoaxes to articles where nobody had a good handle and expertise on the subjects in them - it was WP:POINTy, of course, but the point was still there to make. Of course, he hasn't told me anything I didn't already know about article quality, which is so hit and miss - I've nothing against people creating GAs and FAs, more power to them, but when a casual reader sees a good article about a place right next door to a start-class one, they might wonder if the quality has been guided in the right direction.

I am cautiously optimistic that the recent turnover in the WMF staff mean we may have turned a corner, and can give serious thought to proposing something like WP:ACTRIAL again in the future. Otherwise, I fear that editor retention is going to carry on declining until we've only got the basement-dewelling ANI drama-whores and powermongering article owners left. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 13:23, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Proposal to "recreate" the automated version of WP:HOLICTEST[edit]

While I was about to do the Wikipediholic Test (the automated version), I was instead redirected to a link saying "No redirect found". I am wondering if it is possible to "recreate" the automated version of that Wikipediholism Test to keep up with the current version. The Snowager-is awake 00:31, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Snowager, this is an unfortunate side effect of the toolserver shutdown. I've emailed the person that wrote the previous version to see if the source is available someplace so I can fork a copy to toollabs and bring it back online. I'm not holding my breath too much since the user hasn't edited here since 2010. If that doesn't happen, does anyone happen to have a webcite link to the old test so I can attempt to reverse engineer it and make something similar? :) — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 00:51, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Great news Snowager, Merphant got right back to me and emailed me the source code. Tool is now online at toollabs:wikiholic/wikiholic.pl although that may change at some point in the near future. :) — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 02:30, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Flaw in page Redirects - page histories are deleted[edit]

Hi all. I noticed that people cannot now see the page history of Redirected pages. Information is lost, as well as allowing for potential abuse.

For example, here's a recent page redirect - just WHAT was on this page?

ATadConcerned (talk) 03:26, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Hi ATadConcerned. There never *was* anything on that page. The page was created as a redirect. Other pages, for example Public housing precincts in Singapore had content before they were redirected, and that content is still visible in the page history. Howicus (Did I mess up?) 03:31, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Howicus for explaining the situation. It took a minute to figure out (ok, many minutes), but I now realise that edit was about creating a shortcut, and not removing content. I thought pages were getting wiped out and people's work lost! ATadConcerned (talk) 04:02, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, when a page is moved, the history goes with it and (unless admins intervene) a new redirect is created in the former page's place, which has no history other than a single entry which will say something like "[user] moved page [old page] to [new page]". You might have been seeing that. Ivanvector (talk) 00:48, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Template:Talk header and resolving the issues raised in the Template:Maintained TfD[edit]

Now that {{maintained}} and its attempt at a successor are gone, and given the spirited discussions thereon (see related, above), I'd like to make a direct proposal that I believe will fix the issue that the templates attempted to resolve: the newbie asking for some direction.

{{Talk header}} currently includes a parameter that renders:

I presume a knowledgeable someone could build the code that, only if one or more editors identifies as a {{|volunteer(x)=}}, changes that line to (as an example):

  • Questions about how to improve this article? Ask a volunteer.

"Ask a volunteer" would link to the creation of a new topic in the article talk, which would leave simultaneous notice(s) on the talk page of any listed volunteer(s).

The names of any volunteers would not appear within the template; they would appear when editing article talk (as an example):

{{talk header|volunteer1=User1|volunteer2=User2}}

Naturally, the specifics are open for discussion; one could, for instance, use steward rather than volunteer—though I personally find "volunteer" more likely to find appeal among any newbies inclined to ask for help.

So, let's see if this ball rolls. Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 05:27, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

I have a simple idea on what the link could do. It could create a new section of the talk page that was preloaded with {{ping|<volunteer 1>|<volunteer 2>...}}. Then the various volunteers would be pinged through notifications. If it's decided that the volunteers' names shouldn't be visible, then it could be pre-loaded with a variation on {{@FAC}} or {{@TFA}} that would ping the supplied volunteers' names without displaying them. The downside is that the editor would have to sign the initial edit or the notification will not go through, so maybe we need to pre-load the signature code too along with a few comments to let the person know to leave the ping template and signature intact. Imzadi 1979  07:09, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Per {{talk header}}: "This template should only be placed where it's needed. Don't visit talk pages just to add this template, and don't place it on the talk pages of new articles. Talk pages that are frequently misused, that attract frequent or perpetual debate, articles often subject to controversy, and highly-visible or popular topics may be appropriate for this template." -- Gadget850 talk 10:33, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
... and I'm guessing that someone going to the trouble of identifying as a volunteer to assist other editors would do so all but exclusively on such "needed" articles. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 19:32, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
The problem with the pings is that a) half the time they still don't seem to work and b) unless somebody removes them, they'll stay there forever and deteriorate. It's like WikiProjects which have a "list of members", many of which haven't edited since 2008. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 16:00, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Nature of the beast, I think ... Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 20:29, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I would have to oppose the proposal on its face. I've already seen {{Talk header}} itself abused too much by being applied to talk pages that are otherwise blank—or just containing WikiProject tags—or to inactive talk pages that has archives. I would genuinely like to see the use of that template scaled back to just active, high-profile talk pages. Also, the original problems with such a feature appearing to encourage article ownership are still there. If a person is going to "volunteer" to help other editors on a particular article, they would have the page on their watch list anyways. —Farix (t | c) 11:07, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that is what the watchlist is for. Post your message on the talk page and it will usually be noticed by someone. Or if not – if you don’t get a reply quickly or if you notice the talk page is little trafficked and visited – post also, even at the same time, to a project talk page or other noticeboard. Sensible project headers on a talk page facilitate this, and are generally the first place to look for help if it cannot be found on a talk page. Or use a {{help me}} template. Or check the page history for those editors most active in the area your query relates to. All of these are far better than a 'volunteer' link which may link to an editor who hasn't edited the article for a long time, if at all (with some editors thinking the best way of helping the project is by 'volunteering' to help out on pages they have never edited before).--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 12:19, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
The late templates were often, as I read it, for editors with hundreds if not thousands of pages on their watchlists. Plus, in some cases, a new editor may not know how to utilize {{help me}} or the article-talk history (especially if archived), which I thought was the whole point of the late templates, abused or otherwise. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 19:44, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
If you are really at a loss what to do there’s a 'help' link on the left hand side of every page that leads you to many useful sources of information and places of help. Or just hit 'edit', type something, hit 'save'. Even if you ask your question in the wrong place someone will usually be along to answer, perhaps moving it or replying on your talk page if necessary. Having a 'volunteer' link/pinging a 'volunteer' doesn’t make this any easier.
BTW I have over five thousand pages on my Watchlist, and have no problem watching things. Most of the pages are dead: user [talk] pages, old AfDs. I remove very active pages such as ANI once any discussion I'm interested in is archived. I also look at my own Contributions, from which I can see changes to any pages I recently edited which are most likely to be ones with active threads like this, and look at various other pages which can’t be watched for updates and changes to them.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 20:54, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
As do I; but an awful lot of editors don't have the experience either of us has, and the whole point—in theory, anyway—was to increase access to help for those who need it. I believe the proposed changes help facilitate this. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 21:04, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── how ? If you link to an editors talk page it can be a far worse place for a new user to go: maybe too long as archiving’s not set up, maybe backed up with abuse that some editors (admins e.g.) attract, maybe blank as the user clears everything they’ve read. Maybe decorated with strange colours and styles that some editors like. No instructions or indication it’s ever read. Which it might not be immediately – the editor might be on holiday, too busy, have retired from editing, even been blocked.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 21:20, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

It would not link to an editor's talk page; it would leave a notice on the editor's/s' talk page(s) that a question/comment was left on the article's talk page. It would increase the potential for a faster response by a person familiar with the article and/or policy. The question/comment would be in article space regardless. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 22:13, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
How exactly would that work? An editor asks a question on the talk page and the 'volunteer' is automatically notified on their talk page? That would get rather tedious if it were a busy talk page, worse if they volunteered on many – that’s what Watchlists are for. Or the editor making a query has to do something different, and if so what?--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 22:20, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the volunteer would be automatically notified, but only if the "Ask a volunteer" link is used. There would not be any such notification for any other edits to such an article talk page. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 22:25, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes but how? They click on the link and it opens up the edit window as normal, but silently sends notifications to the 'volunteers'? It would not know at that point what the question was, or what the topic was, or even who the editor was (as they had not signed). Often they will not even finish their question; they will just close the window, or leave the computer for someone else, or lose their internet connection, or whatever. But it will have still sent the notification. It sounds entirely unworkable and likely to annoy everyone involved. And that's on top of the other issues identified with such templates.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 23:09, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
That's up to an actual coder to figure out. Face-grin.svgATinySliver/ATalkPage 23:27, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
Almost anything can be coded, it just has to be designed first. And certainly this must work like other things on the web or on WP – click on a link it takes you somewhere etc. – as to do anything radically different would just confuse people. So, in the design you are thinking of, you click on the link and what happens?--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 00:06, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The idea would be that it creates a new section and notifies any volunteer(s) only after Save page is clicked. There wouldn't be a point in anything further if the new section is not actually created. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 00:18, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

In theory possible but it would require features adding to the Mediawiki software. You would need to e.g. store some state information in a cookie which when the user hit 'save' it checked and if the state was set fired off the notification(s) to the volunteer(s). But I can't see that happening: it would be a major undertaking and perhaps have performance or privacy implications. It would not be possible with just a template.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 00:38, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
How is this any different from a watch list? Yes, some editors may watch hundreds of articles, but if it is too much of them, they need to trim their watchlists down. Doesn't this encourage page ownership, like the old maintenance template did? This makes the "volunteers" appear as gatekeepers for the article. Is there actually a problems that need this type of solution? Honestly, I don't see where there is a problem. —Farix (t | c) 01:07, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't see where templates promote an attitude; in other words, ownership promotes "ownership". The idea, if nothing else, is to promote stewardship and a spirit of helpfulness in a more targeted manner, as opposed to, say, a general help page. —ATinySliver/ATalkPage 01:18, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Tolerate unused list-defined references[edit]

The use of list-defined references has both an upside and a downside. The upside includes the vast reduction of clutter in the body wikitext, which is of greatest benefit during the initial period of high editing activity; if there's little editing activity, clutter in the wikitext doesn't matter much.

During this high activity, it's a hassle keeping the References section in sync with the body's use of those refs. Content gets removed, the associated <ref name=refname/> tag is also removed, leaving an unused reference. The software responds to this situation in two ways:

  • At the bottom of the References section, it issues the big red cite error, Cite error: A list-defined reference named "refname" is not used in the content (see the help page).
  • It adds the article to the tracking category, Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting, which is regularly processed by cleanup editors.

The article's editors monitor the References section for this error. If they see one, they comment out the unused ref, thereby eliminating the message and removing the article from the tracking cat.

The preceding alone is extra work involved with LDRs. But sometimes, the content removal is reverted, restoring the content along with the <ref name=refname/> tag. Since the ref has been commented out, this creates an undefined reference and the big red error message, Cite error: The named reference refname was invoked but never defined (see the help page). When the error is noticed, which in some cases is some time later, the reference must be un-commented back in, which is yet more work. Rinse, repeat.

This added hassle is, I think, a significant part of why LDRs are not more widely used. I propose to reduce the downside of LDRs by tolerating unused references; i.e., don't issue a message, and don't add the article to a tracking cat. As far as I can tell, this would have no cost except some wasted space in the References section when a ref is unused. ―Mandruss  12:12, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

We could blank or modify MediaWiki:Cite error references missing key. But, as the help page shows, we have found editors stuffing templates into LDRs that break things. Need to do some testing before implementation. -- Gadget850 talk 12:25, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Does this break things in a way that creates unused references, or undefined ones? ―Mandruss  12:41, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
BTW, I left out an added complication involving a bot "rescuing" an undefined ref before the LDR can be un-commented. This results in two identical copies of the ref: the commented-out LDR and another copy in the body. This eliminates the "undefined" error, so the problem is easy to miss. This has to be understood, watched for, and fixed when it happens. I have just fixed seven of these in Shooting of Michael Brown, which occurred while I was away from the article for an extended period. Fixing them reduced the article's size by over 3,000 bytes by eliminating the duplication, and I doubt I have fixed all of them yet. This problem would not exist if there were no need to comment out LDRs. ―Mandruss  22:48, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Excellent suggestion, Mandruss! The huge advantage of LDR is that you can pick up the refs from one article and copy them to another; the disadvantage is that you then have to use them all to avoid errors. It'd be good if this could be implemented.
Vaguely related: would it possible to make (or do we already have) a template that would accept a list of references with ref tags (as for example, refs copied from an LDR-formatted page) and display them as a bulleted list, say in a Further reading section? They could then be easily moved to the ref section as needed, without any need to reformat them. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 23:07, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Uniform tables[edit]

Presently there is major difference with the layout of wikitables on the desktop site and on the mobile site. Most importantly, the mobile wikitable has no background color for its header cells and its border are brightly colored to the point that they are almost indistinguishable. This creates readability issues for the mobile wikitable. To illustrate this I have made a screenshot of table both in the desktop and the mobile version.

A wikitable on the desktop site
The same table on the mobile site

Therefore, I would like to propose the mobile wikitable's layout to be made the same as the desktop wikitable's, so as to have a uniform table style. Tvx1 19:21, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Discussion (Uniform tables)[edit]

  • First question: How exactly does this effect our readers and the encyclopedia? Second question: How do you propose to do this? — {{U|Technical 13}} (etc) 22:37, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Wikitable CSS is defined:
-- Gadget850 talk 23:36, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
  • The mobile site uses a different skin, "Minerva", specifically tailored to mobile devices. I suspect this colour scheme was carefully chosen for a good reason, and I haven't seen a good explanation of why the desktop site's table colour scheme is any better (or worse, for that matter) than the mobile scheme. As such I would oppose any changes. — This, that and the other (talk) 08:02, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
    This ^^^ Also that table uses colored background to communicate information, which is an accessibility problem. And the background of the table won't matter much to readability on my watch. Also why would things have to be visually consistent across multiple skins ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 14:41, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
    I can think of many reasons why it's impractical to have multiple layouts for the same tables. I'm not aware of every type of instance tables are used for on Wikipedia, so I can only talk about the one I'm involved with. I mainly edit in the Formula One Wikiproject. The example use above is of a "result's table". This type of table is quite common in sports articles. The background color used in these tables is supplementary to the text. It's not the sole means of communicating info by any means. The complaints about the tables I have encountered there are that the lack of clearly distinguishable borders on the mobile site's tables makes it difficult to find specific results in these tables. Even more so for colorblind people. You can find some discussion on this here, here and here. Furthermore having different desktop and mobile layouts creates unnecessary complications for editing. Quite often a change of content in a table on desktop works fine on desktop, but creates problems on mobile. I can't see any good reason either why header cell can't have a background color on mobile. I can't give an answer to Technical 13's second question because I'm not adept enough with the site's programming language, so I simply can't point to which part of the CSS has to be changed nor to what it should be changed to. Tvx1 16:28, 27 April 2015 (UTC)