Wikipedia:Village pump/Archive G

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Village pumps: PolicyTechnicalProposals (persistent)Miscellaneous

Anyone seen User:Timwi's recent additions, to wit: New York Times stories of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack? Seem rather more like primary source material, not encyclopedic, and there may be copyright concerns. Kat 18:06 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Check wikipedia:votes for deletion. -- Notheruser 18:12 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

User:troubadour has a question :

in which way is it perceived interesting to be able to see what other people have on their watchlist? (if they let you) or be noticed in some way when other people have/put the same article on their watchlist as you

in which way is there an interest to 'define' contributions better for example : simple information gatherer role and writing role that way a lot of people that know some true info but don't like to write would also be able to contribute

things like this

something else: could i get in direct contact with a person who really has a clue about wikipedia policy and technical background i am writing my thesis on awareness and would like to ask some specific questions if so : mail me


I think it would be nice to know what other people have on their watchlist. That way you can judge whether or not a user is likely to notice a talk page entry, or an article change. Sysops can view other people's watchlists, and I've done this a number of times since I became one. I hope no-one sees this as a privacy violation. The SQL query is on my user page, if anyone's interested. -- Tim Starling 03:35 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

How can I enclose a block of text, such as -100, such that it wont be broken into two halves when at the end of a line? Pizza Puzzle

You can use non-breaking spaces in place of normal spaces: Some text. I'm not clear on what you mean by "-100" though... does that get broken? -- Wapcaplet 13:22 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Yes, the negative gets left behind on the top line. Pizza Puzzle

Yuck! It doesn't do that on my browser, fortunately (Mozilla 1.3.1). Which browser are you using? Apparently, some browsers interpret the dash in front of a negative number as a hyphenated word (the HTML specification says something about this, too). Anyhow, it looks like maybe you can use the entity references: - or -. Of course, that'll make it a pain to edit... hmm, I'll see if I can find something better for ya. -- Wapcaplet 13:34 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Try the minus entity: −100 -- Wapcaplet 13:41 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Is there a limit to how many pages can be listed on a "what links here" page? I noticed that I just linke to Native American on my new Aztalan State Park article, but it doesn't seem to show up on the "What links here" page, which is rather large. -- John Owens 00:05 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)


move to user talk:142.177.etc when done

On Wikipedia talk:What it thinks it is I find myself inadvertantly talking to hard banned user 142.177.etc. Surprisingly, mav condones my breach of Wikipedia protocol.
I'm happy to bow to the consensus of the Wikipedia community here, whatever it may be. Should I:

  1. Continue to engage 142.177.etc in discussion
  2. Move all of 142.177.etc's edits to user talk:142.177.etc
  3. Revert all of 142.177.etc's edits
  4. Essentially ignore 142.177.etc.
  5. As one of the above, but additionally apply IP blocks.

You may confer... Martin 23:32 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Just view this as one last chance to reform this person. As soon as I see that 142.177 is up to his old tricks then I'll reinstate the hard ban. Call this an experiment. --mav 01:53 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Generally we only link to the first occurence of a word in an article. What is policy for lists/tables? EG see Formula One lists at end of article. -- SGBailey 2003-06-17

My personal policy is to only like the thing being listed, leaving dates and any comments unlinked. However, in some cases, like the tabled list at Formula 1, it doesn't look bad to link everything; on the other hand, the untabled lists at the same page, do look pretty bad with everything linked. Basically, if u link a bunch of stuff in a list, its "hard" to actually find the list and click on it. Pizza Puzzle

I took the question as being not so much about whether or not to link, e.g., the years at all, but rather whether, for instance, you link 1969 every time it appears or just the first, ditto for Finland, etc. I consider this a bit of a judgment call; in a short list, where the linked occurrence is easily found, I'll link only the first, per standard operating procedure, but in a long list like that, it's obnoxious to have to go back and find the first 1969, so it seems appropriate. More of a grey area would be when France won two years in a row, for example; I might not link the second appearance in a row myself, or even repeated appearances within one of the shorter lists, but I just might, and I certainly wouldn't think it wrong to link them, in a case like that. -- John Owens 20:42 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I think it can sometimes be a good idea to link multiple times, for two reasons. Firstly, for aesthetic reasons. If you have a list or a table and you think it looks better with an entire column linked rather than an entire column minus two entries, by all means go with your instincts. The second reason is when you have a very long article, and a concept is briefly mentioned at the top and then discussed in more detail much further down, it can be a good idea to link to it again. This is again a stylistic choice. I find it makes articles easier to skim through rather than read end-to-end. There are also a number minor/technical reasons for linking multiple times, which I won't go into here. Suffice to say it's a rule not written in stone. -- Tim Starling 01:08 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Multiple wikilinking is desirable in both alphabetized tables and lists, because is the first reference could easily become the second, the third,..., when new items are inserted with before that the current 1st reference. --Menchi 01:31 18 Jun 2003 (UTC)

asethetically, I think its best to link either all or none of an occurrence. Linking occasional dates here and there, makes for a spattering of blue links which is distracting to the eye. On the other hand, linking all the dates/etc makes it harder to see the list itself (unless its in a proper table). It should be noted that in any case where we have a list, any of the "further information" like dates is pretty much guaranteed to be linked to from the listed article. Pizza Puzzle

Somebody just redirected or moved the talkpage of John Dee to Arthur Dee (probably erasing the stuff written on the talkpage in the process). I am not sure it can be fixed, but maybe one of the old hands knows how to minimize the damage?

-- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 16:23 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I think I kept it minimal. I've moved the talk page back, and reverted from the added text, the history is still intact for that page. I had to replace the Arthur Dee article by c&p, but put an explanation of the source in my edit comment. I hope all this was the best way of doing it - I don't think the two edit histories could be separated at this point. -- sannse 16:38 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I've just changed the Wikipedia:Text of the GNU Free Documentation License to version 1.2. I've mentioned this on the village pump (a couple of times) before now, and nobody raised any objections. Mentioning it again, though, just in case... :) Martin 12:20 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

"Watched" links in articles with different colour[edit]

I try to reformulate my question:

  • I open an Article .
  • The Article contains links to other Articles.
  • I would like to know, if the linked Articles are already on my watchlist.

Currently I have to follow every single link to the corresponding Article to check the "watch this page" button. I think it would be helpful to show (e.g. by colour) if a link is watched or not. Would something like this be possible / helpful? Fantasy 12:25 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

This reformulation is very clear. So it's in the actual viewing content (not editing, not in Watchlist) of an article. Get it.
Another colour may be helpful, but it should be a neighbour colour (i.e., steelblue, cyan, moss green, or navy blue, in addition to the current cobalt blue or whatever it is). Colours that differ too much would make the page like a clown face. :o)
I think bolding can be used here, but that'd potentially be confused by viewers as alternative title though. However, I have not yet come across an alternative title having its own Wikilink, since it's usually explained in the article where it is.
--Menchi 12:39 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I wanted to post that "Donald Duck" : page is 36 KB long, but the Villagepump is also too big to post there. So could someone split these pages ?

Get a better browser. -- Tim Starling 11:09 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Math formula background transparency[edit]

Hello! I try to color the statement of math theorems or conjectures in order to improve readability. However, I have discovered that the image generated by <math>-tag is not transparent and so the effect turns out to be ugly: see Riemann hypothesis. Could anyone give me a helping hand? -- Wshun

colour does not improve readability. -- Tarquin 21:41 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)
but it does improve visibility. FearÉIREANN 03:09 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Then why are links shown in a different colour to other text in all web browsers? :) CGS 21:44 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)
yes, it does. It helps when we want to emphasis something but Bold and italics are already used heavily on a page; and it helps if someone just wants to get the theorem without really reading the article. -- Wshun

Transparency is more practical in a long shot. What if one day, WP decides to change white -> say, sky blue, for a day, during certain occasion/holiday/festival/celebration. (Just a hypothetical.)

In any case, when you print, it doesn't matter if the background is white (like now) or transparent (like Wshun's suggestion).

I assume to keep nice alias smoothing-outs (as opposed to the coarse antialias) is why the background is white now, but if set transparency barrier to over 50% but under 95%, it'd make no visible difference on lighy backgrounds. Unless you are a graphic artist who strives for the perfection of beauty. WP will win many awards, I doubt graphic design will be one of them any time soon. So a little "flawed" is an acceptable compromise. --Menchi 03:41 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Menchi said "What if one day, WP decides to change white -> say, sky blue, for a day". That would be very difficult. It would be easy enough to change the our TeX markup system to display a different background colour, but that's not the main problem. Do you know how many images we have with white backgrounds? Surely it must be in the thousands. They'd have to be automatically converted. That's an idea... Can a command in TeX change the background colour, now or in the conceivable future? That would solve the current problem. Transparent PNGs are difficult because IE doesn't support them. -- Tim Starling 07:30 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Of course, ideally, in the future we won't need the math PNGs at all, because all our browsers will support MathML :-) Meanwhile, I'd suggest using a colored border instead of a colored background. -- Wapcaplet 11:33 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Closely related to the above, there have been some different approaches to demonstrating samples of Wikipedia code (and the resulting output) on Wikipedia:Alternate text for images. These are partly an attempt to make such demonstration clearer, and stand out more clearly from the explanatory text around it; they might also serve to work around the problem of having TeX markup on a yellow background. Finally, and probably most importantly, they are possibly a better solution than the use of tables for showing example code. See Wikipedia talk:Alternate text for images for an example of how one of the tables that used to be here turned out in Lynx (bad, to say the least). It is possible that other how-to pages (such as Wikipedia:How to edit a page) might benefit from similar formatting. Clearly, by the above discussion on highlighting mathematical theorems and the like, this approach may be applicable to other areas as well. Discussion, criticisms, suggestions, etc. welcome at the above talk page, or at my talk page. (If this has already been covered elsewhere, please point me in the right direction.) Thanks! -- Wapcaplet 17:52 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Hey folks, I was wondering, is it possible to download the software that the Wikipedia uses anywhere? I'd like to put up a Wiki, but I despise CamelCase, I much prefer Wikipedia's [[links]]. --Nelson 20:47 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

You may also want to try out UseMod, which is much smaller and easier to install (Wikipedia originally used UseMod, but UseMod's search and scalability are limited because it doesn't require a database). It can be configured not to use CamelCase. The infoAnarchy wiki is based on it. --Eloquence

Where can I find a list of all the 'variables' such as the "CURRENTTIME" or "NUMBEROFARTICLES" Variables? Ilyanep

I have a cunning idea! There seem to be no public domain pics available for personalities such as Princess Diana or Picasso. However, many famous people are portrayed on postage stamps. If stamps can be freely used in Wikipedia as illustrations, is this a source of such pics? In short, are stamps public domain?
Adrian Pingstone 17:48 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Not in the United States at least. In the US the copyright for stamp designs is held by the US Post Office which hasn't been a US Department since the mid-1970s IIRC. And illustrating an article on a person only with their postage stamp is not a good idea - but allowable under fair use me thinks (IANAL). --mav 18:01 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Go to List of people on stamps of the United Kingdom. The stamp I put there has an excellent pic of Princess Diana. Do I have to remove it? Does anyone know the copyright situation for UK stamps?
Adrian Pingstone 18:12 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)
In the UK they would be copyright the Royal Mail, who issue the stamps and comission the images. I think the profile of Her Majesty (which is used on both stamps and coins) is Crown copyright. CGS 18:17 16 Jun 2003 (UTC).
Images of stamps are pretty clear-cut cases of fair use, since they're like album or book covers, they're "visual quotations" of the actual objects. From a practical point of view, a postal administration would be insane to turn down the free advertising - they're always hoping to sell stamps to people who will never use them, it's like free money. :-) Stan 02:25 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Citing content in an editable website[edit]

Hey there. I run The Athenaeum (, which is a user-editable humanities site. I have read the text of the license, but I'm still a little foggy on it. How should I cite articles when I use them on my site? Furthermore, what are the restrictions that places on my users when they are editing the articles (on my site)? If they change the articles "enough," does that remove the attribution requirement(s)? If so, what constitues "enough"? I'd like to be able to use some of the articles, and to point users here for source material, but not if the licensing/attribution issues are complex enough to be a barrier to entry. Any pointers or FAQ's I can use as a guide?"

IANAL, but it's all in wikipedia:copyrights and indeed in the GNU Free Documentation License. The key section for you will be "4. MODIFICATIONS", since you want to allow users to edit the article. Have a read through - come back if you have any questions. It's simpler than it looks! Martin 23:32 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

"As of 2003"[edit]

Why is As of 2003 a Wikilink of its own, instead "As of 2003"? --Menchi 09:51 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Have you considered checking its talk page? ;) -- John Owens 09:59 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thanks for the directions. --Menchi 11:13 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Hey guys, I've done a little something with Wikipedia:As of... please visit its talk page and discuss whether that was a good idea or not. --Nelson 20:44 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Watchlist Coloured Links[edit]

My watch list is growing and growing (as is yours, probably ;-). I just thought, it could sometimes be of help, if the links on a page that are already on my watch list, would show up in a different color. Would this make sense / be helpful / did someone already think of something like that? Thanks, Fantasy 06:44 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

But isn't old-new distinction relative and not absolute? How do you draw the line? --Menchi 09:51 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I did not mean old or new, I meant watched links and not watched links on any article. Would be nice to differentiate. Is that possible? Fantasy
So this has nothing to do with watchlist really. Just about Wikilinks which you have watched. And when you look at the RecentChanges, those that you watched will be a different colour? They already are, in a twisted sense. They appear bold on RecentChanges. Is that what you were getting at? If not, give it another shot if you're not tired. :-) --Menchi 11:10 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)
p.s. I'm not a developer, so I cannot tell if it's possible or not. Just trying to clarify the suggestion here.

Sorry, seems that I had not used the right words. Maybe an example helps: Take the article Patent. This article contains links to government and inventor. I have just inventor on my watchlist, but not government. But how will I find that out? I have to go to both of them, to be sure, that I am watching both. There is no other way to find out, if I watch an article, as far as I know. If they would be of different colors (watched/not watched), I could just go to the article that is missing on my watchlist and add that one. Does this example help to understand my question? Thanks for your patience, Fantasy

Gray's Anatomy illustrations[edit]

I have never seen the illustrations of Gray's Anatomy until User:Tristanb scanned some. They are actually very detailed and modern, except the font. :-) But has also scanned many unaltered diagrams from Gray's, such as the cervical vertebra. We cannot use Bartleby's because those ancient diagrams was uploaded thru their modern scanner? --Menchi 04:56 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

IANAL but I do know that a photocopy of a public domain work does not create a new copyright for the photocopy. So if all they did was scan-in the public domain images then they cannot legally claim to have copyright over those images. But any changes they may have done to the photo may be considered to be under copyright.... I say we can use them as public domain and not worry about it. --mav 05:38 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I've wondered about that too, but no-one seems to know anything definite. The problem with the Bartleby pics, to me, is that they've been coloured in, and probably clarified, by them. This is their original design.
Obviously Bartleby's have no power at all to stop me scanning the originals from Gray's, but whoever made the veins blue and the arteries red, and even the guy that removed the scanning artefacts, might be able to claim copyright. ??? They've got a much better original source than me, and a better scanner :( so it's very tempting to steal them.
Aside from this, we don't really need another copy of Gray's Anatomy on the net. The pictures were designed as engravings, so a century of graphic development is lost by using them too much. Also some of the terms are outdated. (They're better than nothing though, and provide a nice stencil for lineart.) Tristanb 04:35 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)
The scans look great to me.
Gray's illustrations do more than adequate. Without them, we have to endure the geometric horror such as that on Circulatory system. Mwahahaha!....
Which reprint is your copy? --Menchi 11:21 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)
hahaha, your diagram shows the double circulation nicely :-) It reminds me of my Spinal nerve pic.
I'm using a 1994 reprint of Gray's. It's probably been reduced in size slightly, and the printing and the paper aren't really optimal. (The paper looks like it's been in a fire.) I want to have a go at colouring some pics in nicely, using Gray's drawings as a plan, but i'm really no artist :-) Tristanb

When I entered Graveyard I got a page with 1 REDIRECT Cemetary. When I went into the page to correct the spelling, I got #REDIRECT [[Cemetery]]. (ie, when I got to the page I get an unlinked wrong spelling. When I try to edit, I get a different correct spelling.) I did this four times just to make sure I had not made a mistake somewhere, but the same thing happens. Wrong spelling when I see the page, right spelling when I hit edit. BTW when I went to the recent changes page to add it in to the new server madness page, that page had gone. What is going on? (After Friday 13th was a few days ago!) FearÉIREANN 00:07 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

If you look at the PageHistory:Graveyard you'll see that it was created then edited 2 minutes later. You probably looked at it in that time period. Or you may have a browser cache issue... especially if you used the back button to go back - this doesn't always refresh the page to the latest version in all browsers... Try going to the page and hitting reload. Evercat 00:12 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Try Ctrl-F5 if reloading doesnt seem to resolve the issue. Pizza Puzzle

Thanks folks. Whatever it was everything is working fine now. :-) FearÉIREANN 00:55 16 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Whenever I create a page which has a multiple word title, someone comes along behind and replaces the spaces with uderbars, like this should be written in VBA. I can't find this in the conventions (and where do those come from?). Can someone point me to the correct reference page? -- Rich J 22:18 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The wikipedia makes spaces into _ in the url b/c there shouldn't be spaces in filenames. This shouldn't affect the page title. MB 22:44 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)
url (ur real location) I understand. What is b/c? -- Rich J 23:05 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Actually URL is Uniform Resource Locator. b/c is because. Evercat 23:11 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That was a joke, son -- Rich J 01:23 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)
We tried not to abbreviate informally too much (and almost never in real articles). But MB has a colourful vocabulary. :-) They're fine as shorthands in Talks (Discussion pages).
The truth is that underscored Wikification links (Wikilinks) are actually quite hard to type (with shift keys and all that). Plus, it's kind to read, sort of LikeThisStickedTogether. Not that bad, but not very good either. We try to do it naturally. Make it appear simple. --Menchi 23:19 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Regarding the previous discussion on Fieldism, just an idea on how to prevent "invented" articles: Is it technically possible to create a "new articles" list with a number of Google hits for every new Article title? This could help to spot Articles that "test" Wikipedia's reaction to nonsense ;-) Fantasy 11:22 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)

It would seem that the greatest potential for unrecognized patent nonsense (UPN?) is with obscure topics that no one recognizes. Few among us is enough of a student of history to discard with confidence an article on a bogus lesser personality or social movement from centuries past. But then, it may not matter much. There is plenty of UPN on Google, in that it indexes web sites full of such material. That doesn't make Google less valuable.
A mechanism for users to note that they have reviewed a page and made no changes might help somewhat. Kat 19:03 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)
"Fieldism" was an oversight, it did not "survive", it was missed because of its virtual orphancy. Nobody serious searched for Fieldism, nobody active looked for it, so nobody Wikipedian had the opportunity to rectify the problem.
It was created when active maintainers were busy with something else, in the meatspace or composing new articles. "Fieldism" explicitly mentions a ridiculous ritual of "believers of Fieldism must sit naked in a field." This is blantant and extremely obvious sign, no, not sign, evidence of nonsensical crap.
By the time maintainers looked at the RecentChanges, it's gone already.
This is not the maintainers' fault. The RecentChanges system can be improved: New articles should've stayed on RecentChanges longer than copyedits (minor or not) by registered users of more than 3 months. And new articles made by Anons should stay even longer.
--Menchi 20:14 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)

If you're interested in catching new pages of junk, there is Special:Newpages... Evercat 20:21 15 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I'm having trouble. I want to upload a picture for use on the wiki Team Rocket (I'm Not a pokemon fan, whatever you say), and it's copyright to nintendo (or whatever(, but i found the picture on another site, and I don't think there's a copyright notice. Should I play it safe and not upload it? Ilyanep

Sorta depends on what the source of the photo is, I guess. I personally would play it safe, but you may be able to get away with it under Fair use doctrine. Just because copyright is not explicitly stated does not mean there is no copyright; if it's a commercial illustration, it's pretty likely there is a copyright. If you want to contribute to that article, maybe it'd be good to write a little bit more on the subject - the one-sentence description that is there was written by an anonymous user who apparently was not interested enough to come back and make a proper article out of it. -- Wapcaplet 21:37 14 Jun 2003 (UTC)

This has probably been noticed before, but there are some words that apparently confuse the search engine of Wikipedia. For example, a search (using the "Search button") for the phrase "logical not" returns the following:

A database query syntax error has occurred. The last attempted database query was: "SELECT cur_id,cur_namespace,cur_title,cur_text FROM cur,searchindex WHERE cur_id=si_page AND ( (MATCH (si_title) AGAINST ('logical')) NOT ) AND cur_namespace IN (0) LIMIT 0, 20" from within function "SearchEngine::showResults". MySQL returned error "1064: You have an error in your SQL syntax. Check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ') AND cur_namespace IN (0) LIMIT 0, 20' at line 1".

Obviously the word "not" is the culprit here. Using the "Go" button solves this problem, and correctly goes to Logical not (which redirects to Negation). Similar problems with "and" and "or", as expected. -- Wapcaplet 15:39 14 Jun 2003 (UTC)

What's going on with Image:Marthastewart-1.jpg? Where there should be links to the versions, there's just the name of the person who uploaded it... and the page that links to it (Martha Stewart) just shows a black bar, rather than the image. Evercat 22:53 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Are you using any ad-blocking techniques? I had quite some trouble with that image myself, until I (& Brion) realized it was in the /a/ad/ directory, and my ad-blocking proxy saw a directory named "ad" and blocked it. -- John Owens 23:01 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

That's what it is, thanks. Norton Firewall was ad-blocking. Evercat 23:08 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

f '(f^{-1}(x)) = x

How can I enter a space prior to the ' ? Pizza Puzzle

f\, '(f^{-1}(x)) = x

\, = thin space

\: = medium space

\; = thick space Theresa knott 19:34 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Oversize edit box[edit]

Please help a newbie? When I begin to type in the edit box, it expands to fill the entire page, so that the hot links on the right hand side get overlaid with the box. This didn't happen when I was editing without a user name. Should I change the Preferences so that the "Quickbar" isn't on the right? Is this a bug, or did I do something wrong? RickK

Try Nostalgia skin, it has no hot links on the sides. --Menchi 13:01 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Not sure what's going wrong there, but you could try turning the quickbar off, or, if you currently have the quickbar set to "floating left" try setting it to "fixed left" instead (I've had problems with images similar to the one you describe when using the floating quickbar). --Camembert
Try unsetting "Edit box has (more than) full width", if it is set? كسيپ Cyp 14:44 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)~
That took care of it. Thanks. RickK

Would a mathematician, please take a look at simultaneous equation. I can't understand a word of what is talking about despite the fact that I already know what simultaneous equations are !Theresa knott 13:07 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Well spotted Theresa. -- Tim Starling 13:36 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

What do you guys think about implementing a catagory system that would allow us to catorigize articles by subject (i.e. Computer Science, Mathimatics, Sports, History, etc.)? I think this would be great! We could have an automatically generated index by catagory of sorts. There would need to be the ability to create new catagories, and sub-catagories of course. MB 15:14 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

A basic category system developed by Magnus Manske is currently installed on our test server and the matter is being discussed on the Wikipedia mailing lists. --Eloquence 17:32 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I have received the following message three times over the last 10 minutes when I tried to enter some pages, including Jimbo's talk page.

Could not connect to DB on

Host '' is blocked because of many connection errors. Unblock with 'mysqladmin flush-hosts' If this error persists after reloading and clearing your browser cache, please notify the Wikipedia developers. FearÉIREANN 21:48 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Got the same error message just now. Often, Wikipedia pages have been rather slow recently (sometimes instant, sometimes very slow, to the point where I open pages in parallel instead of looking at one at a time), don't know if it's related. كسيپ Cyp 21:55 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Me too!!! Wshun
Me three... Evercat 22:53 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Conversion script[edit]

Last time I asked about the conversion script, somehow I got the feeling that it's used 1 year ago to move articles from that old server/program/system to the new, where there's now lights and sparkles and running water. But apparently it's still used activeity, judging by its Contribution list. What is this? I thought all edits are attributed, partly to block weirdo Anons. So this isn't used by unregistered people, then? Then who? Megalodmins with divinity? Conversion script is so mysterious and yet the 3rd most active. I often wonder why I'm the only one who wonders about them. So, please explain if you could. --Menchi 12:55 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The last edit is 11 months ago. - Patrick 13:09 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I got several narsty messages ending with something like; contact wikidown! Don't have a message thingy to do that. I'm just leaving this as a notice. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 21:58 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Has anyone else noticed the absence of the "minor edit" and "watch this page" checkboxes when editing an article? 04:03 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

More Speed Please!!! I have been using Wikipedia for about a week now and most of the time, the server seems to run reasonably quick. But I have also noticed some l-o-n-g delays. When Wikipedia stops dead, I check the rest of the Net to see if the problem is widespread, but all seems fine, running at normal speed. This suggests that the problem lies at Wikipedia. Anyone else having problems? Could Jimbo or other powers-that-be upgrade the capacity? -- User:MarcusVox

Seconded. It's just about unusable now, and this has been true for several days.
Adrian Pingstone

It's not just browsing. I'm constantly put off editing because it takes yeeeaaaars to submit changs. We really need that foundation up to accept donations. I'd be willing to stick 10 quid or so in every now and again. CGS 11:33 21 Jun 2003 (UTC).

Let me give an example of how pathetically show it is. This morning I tried to open Mav's page. After five minutes of waiting, I left my apartment, walked five minutes to a shop, queued while something was prepared for me, queued at the till (where a problem caused further delay), walked five minutes back, made some tea, ate the roll I had bought in the shop, finished it and washed up afterwards. And it still had not opened up Mav's page, after 26 minutes'. I can no longer use safari because it times out and wiki is so incredibly slow it times out 9 out of 10 times when on wiki. So I am reduced to using I Explorer, a browser I hate and which prevents me from editing any pages that are over 32K. (Right now, miraculously, I am on safari but I have no way of knowing if I can even save this page or will it take so long it will time out. I am on a dial up modem so everytime wiki hits one of these slow phases it costs me money. That 26 minute delay with Mav's page cost me money! (I ended up aborting my attempt to contact Mav in frustration.) Unless this problem is sorted out with wiki very soon, I am simply going to have to drop out. I cannot afford in terms of money and wasted time to sit and wait up to half an hour to get into a page. This has hit absurd levels. FearÉIREANN 11:23 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)

A problem so severe that it chases loyal Wikipedians away -- may be lethal.
For me, when the problem turns bad, I go offline and write new articles in word processor my computer. --Menchi 11:40 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The wikitech mailing list are aware of the problem and are discussing ways to deal with it. From what I can gather, it's not a question of throwing more hardware at the problem -- it's database code in need of optimization. -- Tarquin 12:22 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The dev team is chronically short on manpower. Both Lee and Brion have backed from their Wikipedia commitments in the past few weeks. Lee's last wikitech-l post was on June 4, and Brion announced last Tuesday that he's having a week off, to work on other things. Is 10 quid here and there enough to hire someone, at least part-time? In the short term, we need some more volunteers pretty urgently. -- Tim Starling 16:57 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I know the odd think about SQL databases and their optimisation. What needs doing? Where do I sign up? Darkov 17:21 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)
What sort of skills do you need? -- Tarquin 17:19 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thats odd, the site is now running full speed (at 7 pm GMT). What's changed?.
Adrian Pingstone 18:02 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Perhaps this post on the tech list has something to do with it? :-) Evercat 18:05 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Quite resourceful he is. Which Wikipedian is Nick? --Menchi 00:05 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

In reply to Darkov and Tarquin, it's a bit hard for me to say anything definitively, since I'm just a part-time observer in this, and I don't really contribute at all. Brion and Lee were basically the main two people responsible for maintaining the PHP code. On wikitech-l, people report bugs, make suggestions, and post patches. But Brion and Lee would install the patches to the server. Plus they did system maintenance, like what Nick did in the message cited. It seems to me that the shortage is not in people offering advice or code patches, it's in people who have free time and full server access.

Now I'm talking about them in the past tense as if they're not coming back, although it's almost certain Brion will, and very likely Lee will. But if they continue to put in only a few hours here and there, I don't think they will keep up with what's expected of them.

If you want to contribute, I suggest you read a few months of wikitech-l archives and find out what's really going on. Contact someone who sounds like they know what they're talking about. If you want the sort of server access I'm talking about, you'll probably have to talk to Jimbo. -- Tim Starling 12:59 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Wanted: skilled programmers with lots of free time. Preferably unemployed with no social life and willing to work for free. :) --Brion 21:30 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Yes, that would be nice. But barring that, I think we should pay someone, if Wikimedia can get the cash. -- Tim Starling 05:16 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I just stumpled across Wikipedia:Wikipedians by number of edits. Although I don't think I qualify for this page quite yet, I'm wondering if there's a way to view my number of contributions? The Special:Contributions page doesn't seem to show it for me. -- Timwi 22:29 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

But you do, Tim. You ranked the 181st, with 1066 edits. And considering this's all done basically within a week. You're one of the fastest rising star in WP history.
(I found this # out by reading your contribution page and copy the list to MS Word and convert bullets into #.)
--Menchi 01:00 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thanks! :) But
  1. How did you find out my rank if I'm not listed there?
  2. How do you copy the entire contributions list to Word? I can only seem to get lists in chunks of 500.
  3. Do you have a Sourceforge account? If so, please could you submit a Feature Request that this little number be added to "My Contributions"? It can't be that difficult. -- Timwi 22:17 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Welcome & congrats for making it.
  1. Your contribution # is betwen those of the 180th & the ex-181 persons. Assuming nobody has made the list above 180 (and I'm pretty sure that's the case), you push the 181st person down and replaced him.
  2. Manually replace the 50 in the URL ...Special:Contributions&target=Timwi&limit='50'&offset=0 with 999999
  3. I don't, but from what I gather, even making the Active List has been quite a hassle for non-developer administrators.
--Menchi 00:00 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Or, download the page and grep -c "<li>" file if you're on a unix. CGS 12:00 21 Jun 2003 (UTC).
I wrote a Python script that does the equivalent of a grep which works on Windows. Anyone who wants to use it (responsibly :) ) can email me via my user page. Right now it requires Python installed but could be made into a standalone file. Pcb21 19:39 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)

You don't have to have a Sourceforge account to submit a feature request. You can just do it anonymously. In my experience, the fastest way to get a feature request (or a minor bug fix) implemented is to learn PHP and do it yourself. That's what I did, when after 6 months a bug reported by me hadn't been touched. -- Tim Starling 06:03 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Why do I keep receiving this message? Is there something you sysops can do about this?

Could not connect to DB on
Host '' is blocked because of many connection errors. Unblock with 'mysqladmin flush-hosts'
If this error persists after reloading and clearing your browser cache, please notify the Wikipedia developers.

-- Timwi 22:13 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

P.S. In this message, "Wikipedia developers" is a link to an e-mail address that bounces. -- Timwi 22:36 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I am recieving the exact same error over 2 days, more so in the past 30 min. MB 22:18 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Ditto. Maybe the server's just really busy? -- Wapcaplet 23:20 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Is there a good reason to keep bushfire and forest fire separate? -Smack 17:17 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I did an honest search (much more than just a search-feature search) on Meta-Wikipedia for a good discussion of the "5000-people" rule, and I couldn't find one. I find it inconceivable that a meta-article like that doesn't exist. Could someone help me out here? -Smack 00:35 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)

It's just mailing list chatter. People have proposed all sorts of rules to determine which subjects deserve an article and which don't. None are official. Martin 13:47 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)
And if I don't want to subscribe to the mailing list, I should just create a meta-article? -Smack

I have received the following message three times over the last 10 minutes when I tried to enter some pages, including Jimbo's talk page.

Could not connect to DB on

Host '' is blocked because of many connection errors. Unblock with 'mysqladmin flush-hosts' If this error persists after reloading and clearing your browser cache, please notify the Wikipedia developers. FearÉIREANN 21:48 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Got the same error message just now. Often, Wikipedia pages have been rather slow recently (sometimes instant, sometimes very slow, to the point where I open pages in parallel instead of looking at one at a time), don't know if it's related. كسيپ Cyp 21:55 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Me too!!! Wshun
Me three... Evercat 22:53 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Whenever I am on RC (far too often), I get the impression that the input to the encyclopedia is rather unbalanced: lots on computer stuff (surprise!), science, pop music, sci-fi/fantasy, bits of geog/hist. The impression is that the typical user is a young male with computer qualifications and stereotypically geeky interests. (How many Tolkien or D&D articles do we need?). I'm not sure what can be done to redress the balance, but at least we should be aware of it. jimfbleak 12:17 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I brought this up over 12 months ago, and I don't think I was the first. Seems like we still have a long way to go! -- Tarquin 12:26 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia is heavily biased towards computer generated articles on US towns and cities. Surely they must outweight the Tolkein and D&D areas combined! I don't think balance matters because we've got good organisation and no space limit. I prefer to think of the missing articles as the problem, not the ones we have in quantity. -- Tim Starling 12:28 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The inclusiveness is part of the project's culture, though I believe it detracts from the overall value of the effort. I myself believe that the project would have better balance if we made an effort to keep article length proportional among topics of similar importance. For example, Tolkein's literature does not deserve a more lengthy writeup than Dickens' or Steinbeck's books. D&D should not enjoy a more lengthy writeup than contract bridge, dominos, or mah jong--all of which have subtleties and histories rivaling that of D&D. And the Dead Kennedys should not enjoy a more detailed treatise than does Franz Liszt, who left a greater and far more enduring mark upon musical history.

The numerous articles on various fictional universes, particularly, do not appear to me to be encyclopedic in nature. What reader will turn to an encyclopedia for an entry like Bree (Middle-earth) or Aragorn? I'm not trying to pick on Tolkien, as I enjoy his writing immensely; the Star Trek articles have the same characteristics as do many others. These articles pollute the namespace and have far less potential to become encyclopedic than the geographical stubs from the census data.
IMO, for a fictional work, character, or setting to be encyclopedic, there must be references to it elsewhere in art or literature. Consider the Greek and Roman mythological pantheons. Portions of them appear throughout literature, sculpture, painting, and so on; an article on Aphrodite is unquestionably encyclopedic. Where are the sculptures of Aragorn or the literary references to Sarek outside the series of works where they originally appear? Now, perhaps we can do with an article on Mr._Spock owing to the inseperability of that character from pop culture of the 1970s. But Sarek? Kat 16:19 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Are you seriously proposing to delete all the articles about Star Trek, Middle-earth and other large-scale fictional universes? Perhaps most encyclopedias (like EB) don't contain an article about Sarek, but why is that reason for us not to have one? Perhaps encyclopedias are not normally considered a place to look up facts about fictional universes, but there's no reason for Wikipedia not to change that. I don't see why the articles aren't "encyclopedic in nature". I also object to your argument that they "pollute the namespace" (we can move pages and disambiguate; it's never been a problem), as do I object to your claim they have little potential to become non-stubs (see Vulcan (Star Trek) for an example I de-stubbed).
Also, how do you define "references to it elsewhere" -- Sarek is referenced in several of the Star Trek series and movies ;-). I also remember reading (though I forgot where) that there exists a full-size model of a Vulcan space ship in one of the various places called "Vulcan" in North America. Is that a "reference elsewhere"?
All this aside, I really don't see the problem with those articles simply existing. I mean ... you don't have to read them, do you? It's a bit like saying a program that has atrocious stability and limited usefulness should be deleted from the Internet. -- Timwi 17:22 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I can see you have strong feelings on this matter. I do not. Please note that I did not propose wholsale deletion of content. In any case, we would have to agree on the principle (that is, whether balance is a goal of the project) before trying to figure out how to achieve it. (Which could perhaps begin by merging some existing stubs).
The sum of the information available on the Internet is a mere aggregation of those things individuals and groups wish to publish. On the other hand, Wikipedia is edited, and there is already a consensus that certain things do not belong here (dictionary entries, biographies of obscure persons, POV material). The criteria for inclusion of fictional material are a legitimate topic for discussion.
<<you don't have to read them>> We're not, I hope, writing this for ourselves. A major reason I participate in this project is that I believe that it has the potential to become, in time, a legitimate, respected reference work. The opinions of people like librarians, teachers, and others who are not involved in the project will determine whether this happens. Now, including an article on a topic implies a judgement made by us that the topic is part of the canon of human knowledge. To a degree, the relative quantity and quality of information about two topics imply a judgement we have made about their relative importance.
What would you do if you're trying to decide whether an encyclopedia or other reference work is worthwhile? Well, first, you'll probably look up a few things that you're an expert on and evaluate the articles. You might look up some politicized topics to see what political bias might exist. You might look up some obscure facts that you know to check for breadth. You might look up some controversial or inflammatory topics and see whether they are treated in an appropriate manner. And you might pick a few pages at random just to see what's there.
At the end of all that, if you're more impressed with the thorough treatment of the Ents in Middle Earth than, say, the coverage of Brown vs. Board--then hoom, humm, let us not be hasty, we'll just stick with World Book until Wikipedia grows up a little bit. 18:12 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Because Wiki is not paper, we have the latitude to include as many articles on fictional worlds as we want to. The truly considerable number of articles on Middle-earth has not reached the same genuine nuisance proportions that the user:rambot entries have, and yet we consider the latter to be a valuable contribution. We can let the Tolkien fans (like me) have their fun, and then wait for the articles of broader interest to grow up around them.
As regards outside references, there may indeed be statues of the Beatles, but most bands in the Wikipedia will be gone and forgotten in a few years. Fewer people will know about N'Sync than about the Baggins family. Nevertheless, we will keep those articles around. -Smack
Agree with Smack. I just don't see a problem here. I don't see that Wikipedia has to exist in a state of balance; it is, after all, in its nature that it is constantly changing. The current user profile means we have more articles on certain areas than others, that's obviously agreed. That doesn't mean those articles are somehow made invalid by the non-existence of the supposed "balancing" articles. To take the Dead Kennedys / Liszt example, the correct solution is not to remove valuable information on the Dead Kennedys, but to leave it there and wait for someone to add information on Liszt, which they inevitably will. Removing the Dead Kennedys information (or not adding further information in the same area) till such time as the Liszt information is available is not the way forward, IMHO. --AW
There are places where Tolkien intersects with the real world - there was a CPU design called the "Hobbit" with an interesting history that I may write up some day, and googling "Aragon" I see a "Aragorn Enterprises" that runs boats on the Thames. One thing to keep in mind that it is difficult for us to know what will come to be significant in the future - students of ancient history tear their hair out because cryptic references to certain bits of the culture are not explained by a single surviving objective source. For instance, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea has words for trade goods from Africa that appear nowhere else in ancient sources, and trading centers whose names appear nowhere else, and we can only guess what they might mean. To the writer of the Periplus, they were so obvious that they didn't need explanation, and so now we'll never know. Stan 14:29 20 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Balance of subject matter is user-driven. Internet users and geeks tend to have specific kinds of interests. What we need to do is encourage more users to post information on their particular segments of expertise.Content should not be turned away.
We have bird enthusiasts working on birds. Movie fans working on movie awards. I, myself, am focusing on Afghanistan.
A beauty of wikipedia involves worlds colliding. The more information put forth in the database, the more connections can be made. Kingturtle 05:43 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)
For the heck of it, I just browsed all the NEW articles created in the last 24 hours. Although nothing close to an exact science, it was nice to see the wide range of topics broached. Your results will obviously vary from mine, but in my eyes, I saw topics on: geography (15 new articles), leaders (15), math (10), recipes (9), government (7), games (7), music (7), warfare (7), biology (6), religion (6), tv (6), novels and authors (6), poets (6), communications (6), transportation (5), schools (5), birds (4), Harry Potter (4), adventure (3), art (3), culture (3), software (3), corporations (2), mammals (2), archeology (2), sports (2), management (2), astronomy (2), technology (2), chemistry (2), restaurants (2), the internet (2), energy (2), advertising & marketing (2), products (1), language (1), scholars (1), reptiles (1), justice (1), historic events (1), race (1), cartoons (1), medicine (1), comedians (1), film (1), economics (1), food (1), gardening (1), physics (1), sailing (1), electronics (1). Just for fun!!!! Kingturtle 07:57 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

To avoid being controversial again. Is there "Wikipedia:Votes for merging" page somewhere ? Sometimes 200 bytes is more than enough to write about someone or someplace but there is so much unnecessary segmentation going on.
Kpjas 14:10 19 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Might Wikipedia:Duplicate articles be what you're looking for? Andre Engels 09:10 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Disambiguating TV series

We have a variety of ways of disambiguating television series: Bottom (television), V (television series), Hercules (TV series), Jeremiah (series). I'd like to standardise this a bit. My preference, after discussion on Talk:Enterprise (series) is to use "series" as the disambiguator. Any objections before I go ahead and move some pages? -- sannse 21:21 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I'd prefer "TV series", since otherwise it could be interpreted as a book series, comic book series etc. --Eloquence 21:32 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
"TV series" seems the best. -- Wshun
I vote for "TV series" too. That's how IMDB does it as well ;-) -- Timwi 21:55 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Call me BBC, but I prefer "television series". Also, there are tens of series that have been both on the radio and on television (Dead Ringers, Goodness Gracious Me, Dad's Army...), how will "series" disambiguate these? CGS 22:08 22 Jun 2003 (UTC).
Well, this Yank prefers "television series" too. -- John Owens 22:42 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I think "television" is unnecessarily long. "TV" is a pretty much universally recognised abbrev. -- Timwi 22:50 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
"TV" or "television" would be fine with me, but I think I'd prefer "television" for no really good reason. Even just plain (television) might make just as much sense (since television has more than just series - it has programs, commercials, etc., which could be disambiguated in the same way). -- Wapcaplet 01:13 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Something about this on one of the disamb or naming convention pages recently. needs to be cross-linked-- Tarquin 09:43 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

That was on Talk:Enterprise (series), I'll link there to here too.
mav said on that page (arguing for ... (series)): "We only add enough disambiguation text to distinguish one thing from another. That is why we only add the year to parens of movies when there are more than one movie with the same name. Thus we have Titanic (1997 movie) since there were more than one but we have Platoon (movie) since there was only one movie by that title. And we don't have parenthetical disambiguation at all for unique movie titles, such as You Can't Take it With You."
Which makes a lot of sense to me. -- sannse 19:13 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Why add "TV" or "television" to the disambiguating text when there is only one thing by a particular name that could be a series? If there is a book, a movie and a series that all have the same name then (book), (movie) and (series) would be used as disambiguating text. There is no need for having extra information in (series) unless there were also two different types of series - such as a radio series. Then and only then does it make sense to have (television series) and (radio series). --mav 01:14 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

In that case, I'd vote to use just plain (television) then (since "series" could itself be, at least as far as interpretation on behalf of the user goes, ambiguous; is the article about a TV, book, comic series, etc.) That way, the title itself tells us a bit more about what the article is about. -- Wapcaplet 02:04 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That is not what disambiguation is for. You are trying to use disambiguating text to input meta data when disambiguations only goal is to distinguish one thing from another when they share the same name. The book, movie, series example above are disambiguated by type and a TV series is not a television. --mav

Does anyone have objections to "series" strong enough to ask me not to do the change? If so I'll drop it (I don't have very strong feelings about this, I'd just like to make things a little more consistant) -- sannse 19:26 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

"Series" is definitely ambiguous for most fiction: Could be books, TV, radio, etc. The Barchester Chronicles is all three. "Books", "TV" and "Radio" disambiguate better; don't need the word "series". Will there ever ba a need to distinguish between single and series TV programmes of the same name? I don't think so. Andy G 19:53 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Stop the presses! My entry above has PaulinSaudi on the change page. Is that because I used the Three TIldies technique? If so how can I get credit for my content updates which have not signature line?

I am so confused?

The Wikipedia stylesheet "/style/wikistandard.css" contains two errors:

  • border-width: 1 (requires unit of measure)
  • padding: 2 (requires unit of measure)

as well as a number of warning conditions. Can this stylesheet be fixed (at least the two error conditions)? It's at least possible that this is related to an overlap problem that's occuring in Provinces of Thailand (see Talk:Provinces of Thailand for a further discussion Bill 16:18 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Done. --Brion 18:22 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, Brion. As it turns out, that wasn't the cause of the page overlap on Provinces of Thailand, but it's a good thing to get squared away in any case. Bill 15:35 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Oversize edit box[edit]

f '(f^{-1}(x)) = x

How can I enter a space prior to the ' ? Pizza Puzzle

f\, '(f^{-1}(x)) = x

\, = thin space

\: = medium space

\; = thick space Theresa knott 19:34 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Is it just me, or is Wikipedia:Upload log broken? I get no content other than the usual navigation stuff... Evercat 17:46 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Looks fine to me. --Brion 21:30 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Please see Gaia. A question of style. The header ==Gaia in mythology== has a preceding "1". But I was always taught that you should never have a numerical heading of you're only going to have one of them. If this header is going to be preceded by a "1", shouldn't there be another header down below preceded by a "2"? Is there a way to remove the numerical prefix? RickK 01:17 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Just to clarify, you're talking about a number that's there because you've got "Auto-number headings" turned on in your preferences, yes? If so, no, I don't think there's anyway to get rid of it (apart from switching off that setting, of course, or rewriting a bit of code). --Camembert
Apparently so. When I unchecked it, the numbering went away. But there's no way in the code to check to see if there are any further numbers below to tell whether or not to turn on numbering? On another note, is there some way to explain to newbies like me what the preferences mean? I keep getting confused by what's turned on and turned off. RickK 01:26 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That's a good question actually - we ought to have such a page if we don't already. I don't know of one. Maybe a friendly soul will see this and decide to write one :) --Camembert
Wikipedia:User preferences help. --Brion
Any chance of linking that from Special:Preferences? (Or maybe it's linked already and I'm missing that as well...) --Camembert
Well, it's linked from the Help link at the top of every page. ;) But I'll see about putting in a specific link. --Brion 18:44 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

User:Evercat posted this to my page:

Please note: This user is repeatedly requesting confirmation of the copyright status of assorted images uploaded to Wikipedia. This is being done maliciously, in protest of the banning of User:Joe Canuck, who was banned after repeatedly uploading images of dubious copyright status, as well as assorted threats aimed at Wikipedians who objected to this.
For the most part, this user's questions can be ignored.

Is this Wikipedia policy to say this and Protect the page when someone legitimately questions obvious copyright problems with images uploaded without copyright documentation. I am following the words of User:Jimbo Wales and the statements by [[User:Brion VIBBER] at ChuckM 04:02 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Please note: ChuckM is according to the evidence a user who as User:DW, User:Black Widow and User:Joe Canuck has been banned three times for his conduct on wikipedia. He is also believed to have operated under a range of names, including Ron Davis, Elliot, Olga Bityerkokoff and Jacques Delson, among others. For details on his identity, see the Joe Canuck talk page. ChuckM has now been proposed for banning by Evercat. FearÉIREANN 04:32 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

And I would note that I proposed that before Chuck's comments here... Evercat 12:10 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)
See User:ChuckM/ban, by the way. Evercat 14:58 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I used to be able to use [[[necklace]]] and I would get a link to necklace surrounded by two brackets (useful in quotes) but now I just get 3 brackets on either side. Has the code been changed? Is there an easier way to get the result I desire without using nowiki? Pizza Puzzle

Well this works [ necklace ], and so does this [necklace] :). MB 21:30 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)
The easiest way I can think of is [necklace]. Another possibility would be [‌necklace]. -- Timwi 23:38 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Don't use the second of those; the character, whatever it is, does show up on my browser a a square-with-numbers between the bracket and the link. The &#91; is safer. -- John Owens 23:49 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I cut and pasted something from the wiki-list and put it on the talk page of User:Joe Canuck. However it is running lengthways across the page. How can I fix it to run normally? FearÉIREANN 21:14 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

This is probably the cause. Pizza Puzzle

I think I've sorted it. It was the spaces at the beginning of the paragraphs causing the problem -- sannse 21:38 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I would like to seperate watch lists, so that I can differentiate between articles of great interest to me, and articles of more general interest. Pizza Puzzle

This sounds like a feature request. You have to make a feature request on a separate website, SourceForge, where the programmers hang out and manage the development of the software. While you're at it, please tell them to come back here and let us make feature requests on Wikipedia or at least the Meta-Wiki... -- Timwi 23:34 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I don't have enough experience looking at the work of Michael, so I can't make a diagnosis...Is IMX the work of Michael, and is User:Mlthomas Michael? Kingturtle 11:41 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Doesn't look like his style to me... Evercat 13:37 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Hi, folks! I have found several articles concerning the goddess Aradia (Herodias) and relating her with Roman and Greek mythologies. Aradia is related to the Wiccan belief but not to those other religions. As I am not the adequate guy to write about Wiccan traditions, I would suggest finding another person with knowledge on the subject to correct it. Thanks.-- The Warlock 08:48 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Well, the original contributor'd be of no help. The mysterious s/he suddenly stopped last year in Sept. --Menchi 08:58 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

For anyone interested, copyright in the US has changed [1], [2]. Basically, an author now has to pay $1 to keep their copyrights 50 years after publication. -- Jim Regan 07:33 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

That's good news. When do they have to pay up by? -- Tim Starling 07:44 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Sorry, phrased that badly. They have to pay 50 years after publication, if they don't, it becomes public domain. It's the Public Domain Enhancement Act, btw. -- Jim Regan 08:12 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

But it's just $1. I'm pretty sure their or their descendant's sense of possession or greed will drive them to pay that puny amount. Just $20, then a millennium is paid for. Mmm... that sounds too easy. >_> --Menchi 08:27 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The purpose of the act is to allow abandoned works to enter the public domain, not to make it harder to maintain copyright. The reason it's after 50 years is because that's the minimum term required by the Berne Convention -- Jim Regan 08:35 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Ahem. According to the links provided the bill was introduced by two Congressmen. To become law it has to be voted on (assuming it isn't killed in committee), passed in both houses of Congress, go through a compromise committee and then be signed into law. But it would be cool if it did become law. --mav

Yes, it has not yet become law (come on, Congress doesn't move that fast!). It would be great if it does, though! Check out the FAQ for details. And yes, $1 might be enough to make it happen. Consider a large corporation which has a few million properties that it wants to maintain after their normal 50-year lifespan. Right now, they can extend the copyrights indefinitely, for free, and prevent anything (even stuff of zero commercial value) from ever entering the public domain. If they had to pay a few million bucks a year to keep those unprofitable properties within their control, they might think twice about holding onto them. But yeah, as Jim Regan says, it's mostly designed for the works that are still under copyright, but nobody knows by whom. It's abandoned, and sitting around deteriorating, and nobody's legally allowed to copy them because they're still, supposedly, someone's intellectual property. -- Wapcaplet 14:59 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Easy one for all you smart people. I have been updating the Military Operations list and having a grad old time doing it. But when I smack on the Recent Changes page, I note my annotations are credited to some obscure series of numbers; not my PaulinSaudi name. I feel like I am not getting full credit.

How can I fix this?

Now, with three tildies ? PaulinSaudi

Stop the presses! My entry above has PaulinSaudi on the change page. Is that because I used the Three TIldies technique? If so how can I get credit for my content updates which have not signature line?

I am so confused?

Sign with four tildes to include date.
Are you talking about those Contributions? Just click on "My Contri" on the left.
Or perhaps you forgot to log in. You can tell when you aren't logged when the top-right says "Not logged in" instead of your name. And when below the edit box, there's no "Minor edit" checkbox. --Menchi 05:28 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)
The other thing to note is that if you stop editing long enough (eg while writing in your WP, you will be timed out and unlogged, but you won' see that until you change a page. As Menchi said, minor edit is the best guide.
I seem to recall that you need to have cookies turned on (in your browser) in order to stay logged in while having multiple windows/tabs open. Perhaps that had something to do with it? Usually the best way to tell if you're logged in is to check the upper-right corner of your screen. If it says "PaulinSaudi", you're logged in. -- Wapcaplet 14:51 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Disney comics mess

I'd written about this in the relevant talk pages, but I think nobody's watching them :-) I find the article Disney Comic Book a bit out of place. Besides the contents of the article, definitely improvable, the term "Disney Comic Book" itself doesn't mean much here. We already have Comic book explaining what a comic book is, and lots of Disney pages explaining what Disney means. What we'd need there is a Disney comics, with a short history of Disney comics all over the world.
But there already is a Disney Comics article, still it is not about Disney comics, it is about a branch of Walt Disney Company that used to publish comics at the begininning of the 1990s. This is not very accurate IMHO, because when someone thinks "Disney comics" he's not thinking about the publisher, he's thinking about comics starring Disney Characters in general.

I think a Disney Comics (publisher) should be created (similar to Gladstone Publishing, and the current contents and references to Disney Comics moved to that article. So Disney Comic Book could redirect to a new Disney comics page that would contain a better version of this page.

Should I go ahead and do it, or are there any technical reasons not to? Conceptually I think it would really clear things up. Lazarus Long 17:50 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Be bold in updating pages -- Timwi 21:10 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)
If you want to rename Disney Comic Book to Disney comics, go ahead. But you shouldn't have to rename Disney Comics to do it—Wikipedia automatically disambiguates on capitalisation (see, for instance, red dwarf and Red Dwarf). — Paul A 01:18 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I want to know if page history is sometimes deleted. I remember having seen more edits in and am also skeptical about whether the first contributor wrote so much & marked that as minor. Or is Wikipedia:Sanbox treated differently (there's a reference to it in (long before the first edit according to -- Paddu 15:50 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Long, long ago (2001) the previous wiki software would delete old revisions after a while (cf MeatBall:KeptPages); so very old articles often are missing their earliest edits. Also some article histories are be split because someone tried to 'rename' them by simply moving content to another page; the latter can be repaired if the page with the older revisions is still around. --Brion 18:17 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)
As far as Wikipedia:Sandbox is concerned, Brion seems to have chopped off the history at some point. (The page was created by me in February 2002 to replace the old SandBox page - we couldn't move pages in those days.) That page gets hundreds of edits a month, and there's no reason to keep very old versions, in contrast to normal articles. Another thing to note about old edits is that the dates for them are often wrong. For example, that old edit of mine that you've linked above was certainly not made at 15:43 25 Feb 2002 - that's a bogus timestamp occurring on all old history pages. --Zundark 19:39 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Not on all old pages, just on the most recent ones between the software conversion in late January 2002 and the great Oops, All Timestamp Fields Reset Themselves When The Table Is Altered calamity on February 25, 2002. :) On the other hand, many edits during 2002 may be listed 7 or 8 hours off, as for a while timestamps were stored in the server's local time. --Brion 20:52 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I've been here only for 15 days now, and already five of my contributions are showing dates between Apr 2002 and Feb 2003. There is some serious date-related bug in the software. -- Timwi 21:08 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)
The only such that I see are redirection pages created by the software when renaming pages. Did you rename these pages:
02:29 26 Feb 2003 L'Hopital's rule (moved to "L'Hôpital's_rule")
16:33 29 Aug 2002 PDS (moved to "Party_of_Democratic_Socialism")
08:17 9 Aug 2002 Duesseldorf (moved to "Düsseldorf")
15:04 16 May 2002 Squarefree (moved to "Square-free")
10:25 9 Apr 2002 Departement (moved to "Département")
? The rename code is a little funky, and there may be some cases where the redirect page gets the date of the article; or if renaming a page to a title at which a redirect is already present, it may retain the date of the prior redirect. Or something. A little more info would help. --Brion 21:28 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)
You guys make me feel so dumb! :) I didn't notice they were all page moves. Yes, I did perform those renames (albeit within the past 16 days). Notice there are other renames in my contributions list that appear to be dated correctly. -- Timwi 14:42 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Will someone please go to NASA and let me know if my method of putting a long description with a pic is acceptable or is there a better way. My method was to make a page specially for the large version of the pic, with its own title of View of Florida from Space (not sure why I put a capital on Space!).

"click here" links are really bad style. Link text should be the description itself. I've change it to: Read a full description of this image -- Tarquin 13:39 25 Jun 2003 (UTC) PS -- is an article really necessary for this? Isn't the image description page suited to your (excellent) descriptive text?
I think it may be better to put the long description on the image page (which it looks like you've already done), along with the larger version if desired. Then you can link to it from the "long description" phrase like so:
Read a [[:Image:Nasa.florida.300pix.jpg|full description of this image]]
That way, they don't clutter up the article namespace. -- Wapcaplet 13:42 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I've arranged Image:Nasa.florida.750pix.jpg so that it can be linked to as a "larger version"... Evercat 13:48 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I don't think that photo fits in with the rest of the article; I would have thought NASA's logo would be more relevant there. -- Erzengel 13:53 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Erzengel, you are quite free to put on a logo (anyone can edit Wikipedia) but that isn't what I wanted to do! I just thought an example of NASA's work would be interesting. Thanks to the rest of you for your ideas.
Adrian Pingstone 14:06 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Complicated images with a lot of content should have their own articles; the image description page is a a meta-page, as suggested by its color, and focusses on copyright status, source, etc, none of which a regular user should be seeing. The image article interprets what one is looking at - that string of lights is the M5 motorway, the round blob in the center of Florida is Lake Okeechobee, etc. That kind of interpretive description makes the image useful, and not just a pastiche of color dressing up an article. Sometimes people try to do it in captions, but then we end up with comically long captions with their own collection of links. If an image caption of two long sentences is still leaving out important details, I would say that image is a candidate for its own article. Stan 16:28 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Well, Im obviously not getting along with the mathematicians here; but, I think the "professional" mathematicians are so intent on outdoing each other with their rigorous mathematics that they fail to understand that the non-mathematician is the one who most needs this site, and nearly ALL of the math pages (even on some of the most "simple" and elementary of topics) are nigh-impossible for anyone without the proper training to understand. Kinda a Catch-22 if you see what Im saying. PP

Rest of discussion moved to Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Mathematics

Some time ago I had written a short biography about Romano Scarpa for the IMDB. I'd like to use it here too, but I'm not sure whether what I wrote is still "mine" (and so I can do whatever I want with it) or not. On their site there's a note saying that "If you do post content or submit material, and unless we indicate otherwise, you grant IMDb and its affiliates a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate..." so it being nonexclusive I think I can use it here too... or not? Lazarus Long 19:06 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Yes, if it's a nonexclusive license (as opposed to signing over your copyright to them) that should be fine. (I am not a lawyer, nor to I play one on TV.) Keep in mind that you should always mention it when you reuse existing work, so people don't delete it after turning up the original on google. :) A note on the talk page and the edit summary comment should do it. --Brion 19:11 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)~

Wikipedia stylesheet errors

The Wikipedia stylesheet "/style/wikistandard.css" contains two errors:

  • border-width: 1 (requires unit of measure)
  • padding: 2 (requires unit of measure)

as well as a number of warning conditions. Can this stylesheet be fixed (at least the two error conditions)? It's at least possible that this is related to an overlap problem that's occuring in Provinces of Thailand (see Talk:Provinces of Thailand for a further discussion Bill 16:18 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Done. --Brion 18:22 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, Brion. As it turns out, that wasn't the cause of the page overlap on Provinces of Thailand, but it's a good thing to get squared away in any case. Bill 15:35 25 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Another style-sheet related issue - The differences between heading sizes are quite small, and it's really hard to distinguish h2 from h3 or even lower-level ones on some browsers (Mozilla, especially). Checking out the stylesheet, I see that:

h2 { font-size: 125%; }
h3 { font-size: 112.5%; }
h4 { font-size: 106.25%; }
h5 { font-size: 103.125%; }
h6 { font-size: 100%; }

Only 25% difference in size between the lowest-level and second-highest-level headings! If h6 is, say, 20 pixels high, this means:

 h2: 25 pixels
 h3: 23 pixels
 h4: 21 pixels
 h5: 21 pixels
 h6: 20 pixels

Virtually indistinguishable, in any case. I would vote to widen the gap between font sizes (or, if it doesn't look too awful, leave them at the browser-default sizes by taking out these properties entirely). Could someone with knowledge and permission to modify the stylesheets please look into this? Side note: The cologneblue.css style looks good, and its heading sizes are not explicitly specified. -- Wapcaplet 21:38 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Could someone who looks after protected pages take a look at what happened to the special pages for Book Sources? Last time I used it (maybe a week), it clicked through to Amazon, etc. Now it just goes to the Wikipedia page describing Amazon. I certainly liked the old one better, but don't know if the change was intentional.

The page has an 'edit this list' option, but I'm not sure how the old one handled the ISBN variable. So I'm don't want to attempt to reset it. Thanks Lou I 15:49 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Did you try clicking the "run a search on" links? --Brion 18:25 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Brion, you're right as usual, maybe we should exlain that "search on" is a "go to book store" link.Rhanks again,, Lou I

Proposal to somewhat simplify markup to float images: see Wikipedia talk:Image markup gallery and comment please -- Tarquin 09:46 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I got several nasty messages ending with something like; contact wikidown! Don't have a message thingy to do that. I'm just leaving this as a notice. -- Cimon Avaro on a pogo stick 21:58 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I have a doubt that I haven't been able to clear looking at the Help and FAQ pages. If I want to add a new entry about a book that has no title in English because it has never been translated in English, how should I call the page? According to naming conventions it would seem that I should use the original title, but since I haven't been able to find an example I'd rather ask than making a mistake... Lazarus Long 08:31 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

If there's no existing common name for it in English, the original title is exactly what people who did need to refer to it would refer to it as when speaking English. So, yes, use the original title. --Brion 09:17 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I agree with Brion. However, before starting the page, think whether this book really deserves one. If you don't have much to say about it, perhaps it would be better to talk about it on the writer's page instead. Andre Engels 09:26 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

For anyone who is interested in having a Wikipedia T-shirt, and doesn't want to wait for official ones, I have made a simple design that anyone may use if they are so inclined. It's on my user page. -- Wapcaplet 02:23 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I've set up a shop at , please leave me a message to suggest more designs. --Eloquence 05:46 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That URL gives a "Document contains no data", is the right one. andy 09:58 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)
You need a space after the opening parenthesis in "contact me (", unless you intended it to be anti-spam. --Menchi 11:31 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Ah, thanks, even Wikipedia's URL parser is better than that ;-). --Eloquence 12:17 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Sweet! Okay, the next step in my plan for world domination is to make the Wikipedia T-shirt in many languages. Anyone who knows what the phrase "Edit this page" translates to in any language other than English, please visit my sandbox and fill in the translation for me. Thanks! -- Wapcaplet 12:32 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The old list is at m:22 languages. Not quite complete, and the phrase then was "edit the text of this page", so they're not quite the same. Of course, all you really need do is flip through the various Wikipedias with translated interfaces and copy-paste the edit link. :) --Brion 17:53 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I've nabbed all the ones I could from that list. The consensus at the m:Wikipedia T-shirts page seemed to be "Edit this page" rather than "...the text of...", so I decided to go with that. I got all the text I could from the interlanguage versions (most of them seem to have it written in English, since apparently they use older-phase Wiki software (?) so I couldn't get much from those). And of course, also it'd be good to verify them with people who know the language, to make sure I didn't grab the wrong text or something :) -- Wapcaplet 20:46 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I currently have 17 languages. More would be great, but this would probably be adequate for a T-shirt design. As far as I can tell, the big ones are represented (the top 10 wikipedias in terms of size are here). If nobody adds more in the next day or so, I will probably go ahead and make the T-shirt design. Of course, feel free to keep adding and/or revising the ones that are here! I can always add them to the design later. I'd welcome suggestions regarding other design elements; currently, I just plan to list these vertically, with a URL or some such at the bottom. -- Wapcaplet 23:49 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

There is probably some existing discussion that I don't know about, but I came across some articles which use the "bread crumbs" navigational links commonly seen in hierarchical webpages. Namely, Appendicitis, Coeliac disease, Lactose intolerance, etc., all of which have something like:

Medicine > Gastroenterology > Lactose intolerance

At the top. These are understandably useful for putting the article in some context, but seems out of place on Wikipedia (since articles could be categorized according to any number of criteria, in addition to Medicine or Gastroenterology; it imposes an artificial hierarchy). Should these be removed (and maybe incorporated into a "see also" at the bottom)? -- Wapcaplet 01:40 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I notice that Pizza Puzzle has removed Seanos's vote in the current Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_(dates_and_numbers)/vote. This looks a bit strange to me. Is there some history here that I don't know about? -- Arwel 19:50 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The reason Pizza Puzzle gave in his edit summary was that the user whose vote he removed had made only one other edit, and therefore probably wasn't deserving a vote. This seems reasonable to me: otherwise somebody could make a hundred accounts to support their own view. (Why is this question here rather than the talk page in question or on Pizza Puzzle's talk page, by the way?) --Camembert
Just checking if there's a general policy. If you argue that one edit isn't enough to deserve a vote, how do you decide how many edits are enough? Apart from this edit reducing the count for my favoured option :), I'm uneasy about just anybody going in and removing votes that they didn't cast. -- Arwel 20:07 22 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I think I agree - people removing votes (at least without some discussion) makes me a bit uneasy as well, and there probably does need to be some policy on this. As far as I know, there isn't one at the moment - you might perhaps take it up at Wikipedia talk:Vote or Wikipedia talk:Decision Making Process. --Camembert

I've got a proposal for dealing with extended references, but don't want to clog the pump. So, I call your sattenton to Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style. Thanks ..Lou I 18:07 21 Jun 2003 (UTC)

After a little hashing on the developers' list we seem to have found the exact bit that IE doesn't like (main page content being absolutely positioned), and it looks totally unnecessary so it's gone now. :) If you still get the selection bug, force a reload (ctrl and/or shift along with hitting 'reload'; and/or try clearing cache files) to make sure you get the updated style sheet. --Brion 08:53 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the problem has no spread to all the pages. Pizza Puzzle At least, until I try ctrl-F5. Pizza Puzzle

Pie-Face and Curly. - why the period mark? -Smack

Calling European-history buffs[edit]

French Revolution
I had half a mind to rewrite the article myself, but then I saw a long comment on talk: that contradicted much of what I thought I knew. I replied, unaware that the user who had made the comment had since been banned. So I'm trying to find out whether or not I really have my European history all wrong. -Smack 22:01 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV VVVVVVVV VVVVVVVVVVV VVVVVv vvvvvvvb vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV VVVVVV VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV VVVVVVVvvvvv vvvvv vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv vvvvvvvvvvvvv vvvvVVVVVv vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvV vv vvvvvvvvv vv VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv VV Vvvvvvvvvvvvvv

Is there any way to keep sub and sup from creating "extra space" between lines? Pizza Puzzle

Then where would the sup and sub letters fit? CGS 22:35 27 Jun 2003 (UTC).
They would fit if they were made smaller. Pizza Puzzle
With km² (that doesn't use <sup>), no inter-line spacing occurs. For more examples, see Three Principles of the People. It only works with the numerals though. --Menchi 23:05 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That's a browser issue, isn't it? I don't think there's anything Wikipedia can do about it. -- Timwi 09:45 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)

If its a browser issue, the wiki needs to inform people as to what browser they should use. Pizza Puzzle

A magic browser from fairyland that doesn't exist. :) I'm not aware of any browser that renders superscripts and subscripts that doesn't behave as above. If you do, I'd love to hear about it. --Brion 01:18 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Hi I'm new to the wonderful world of Wiki - and it is really great!

For new articles that need to be written over several sessions (I read the FAQ that said Wiki prefers longer articles), is it possible to save them in draft form before they are finished? If not I'll do the primitive thing and do it all on my PC in notepad and cut and paste when I'm finished! David Thrale 11:45 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The FAQ probably goes a bit too far -- I think most editors these days consider a single paragraph to be a quite acceptable first article. However, it is generally easier to type a long article offline, especially if you have a decent text editor. Other than that, your options are:

  • Say in the edit summary that you're not finished
  • Add a note to the bottom of the article saying you're not finished
  • Create the article as a subpage of your user page, then move it to the correct location when it's finished.

-- Tim Starling 03:55 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

How to save new articles as draft?[edit]

Message from David Thrale moved to the bottom. -- Tim Starling 03:55 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

We seem to be getting quite a few recipe and cookbook articles Please could one of the sysops re-generate a new version of Special:Longpages? I have moved/split up/reduced/etc. some of them and would like to see how the list has changed. Thanks a lot in advance. -- Timwi 20:01 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Also Orphan articles - still a small snapshot dated May 13th. -- SGBailey.

I think you need a developer for that, not just a sysop. -- Tim Starling 00:58 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

How do I best approach a developer who is capable of doing this? (seeing as nobody has done it upon this request of mine) -- Timwi 18:56 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I might be one soon, maybe even this week. -- Tim Starling 22:22 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Calling All Adventurous Spirits[edit]

If you are attracted to the open spirit of wikipedia and are looking for a good travel guide, check out It is a wikiwiki site where you can add information about travel around the globe. Take a look, add an entry, join the team! Mahongue 22:20 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Info: the above site appears to licence its content under the GFDL, so its content may be useful for Wikipedia. However, apart from its front page, I can't read any of its articles using Mozilla (even though page source shows there's something there). The Anome 22:30 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I use Mozilla 1.4 and I can see the articles fine. Maybe you need to update? --Nelson 23:03 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Looks okay in my version of Mozilla (1.3.1 Linux), but perhaps the fact that it is not valid HTML has something to do with the problems you are having... Looks interesting, though! -- Wapcaplet 01:11 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I took a quick look at it and was amused to note that about half of the first half-dozen articles I looked at were heavily based on Wikipedia! At least they acknowledge their sources... -- Arwel 00:00 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I guess that's how our anonymous contributor got here :) -Smack
Sorry, I forgot to login before. Remember, "Wikipedia content can be copied, modified, and redistributed so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges Wikipedia as the source." But, was not meant to be a mirror site for Wikipedia. It should have more practical information about particular places. Addresses, phone numbers, prices, and reviews for restaurants, museums, hotels, and hostels. Please add some traveller's information to the site. What are some gems in the city you live in? Right now, there are only two or three people adding entries. We could really use your help! Mahongue 05:27 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Danino challenged Martin status as a sysop. Martin thus decided to refrain himself from using sysop powers as long as the situation was not clear. I think he is a valuable, long-time and trusted wikipedian. I support him as a sysop. Do you ? User:anthere

Here's my unqualified yes. He was one of the first people to welcome me to the Wikipedia and I think he groks the spirit of WikiWiki.--Nelson 22:56 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I can't say I've noticed Martin doing anything I didn't approve of sysop-wise. But then, I haven't been looking. :) --Brion 04:23 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Pie-Face and Curly. - why the period mark? -Smack

No reason. Newbie Wikilinking error (which also include an opening space). Fixed. --Menchi 18:15 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Anchors within Articles[edit]

Hi, I'm relatively new to the wikipedia. Although I have been browsing for a while, I have only been trying to add new articles very recently. I recently updated a page on Tropicalismo, and I am working on an article for the related Brazilian film movement of Cinema Novo, but have run into a small stumbling block. I want to add a link to information on the Brazilian military coup of 1964, whose oppressive regime inspired these new forms of creative expression. However, the closest thing that I can find is in History of Brazil. While this is certainly an adequate place for this information, it is rather broad in its scope. The relevant information on the coup is at the very bottom of the page (1964-present). Is there any way to create something along the lines of html anchors, that would allow me to link exactly to that part of the article? Thanks. -DropDeadGorgias 17:26 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

It doesn't look like you can. I found this in the archives Angela;
...the syntax for defining internal anchors has never been enabled...--Brion 04:40 Mar 10, 2003 (UTC)
Anchors work, with the regular HTML tags, see Wikipedia_talk:How_to_edit_a_page. - Patrick 18:45 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, Angela. Could someone more familiar with wikipedia customs inform me as to a reasonable formatting for this? Is an independent article on the Brazilian Military Coup of 1964 appropriate? -DropDeadGorgias 17:53 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
You could type "See section "Military Coup 1964" in ....". But, the internal anchors actually work quite well in fr:Liste des articles d'astronomie. They're not official wikitag, as you can, though. --Menchi 18:06 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Oh, Merci bien Monsieur Menchi! You have saved my articles! Two questions, actually, if you can point me in the right direction.
Where can I find a full listing of the features of wikitag?
Who designed wikitag, and are there discussions on feature requests (i.e. official anchors). I also notice that wikitag does not really behave like normal sgml. For the 'b' tag used for the anchor, I could not close the tag in the opening element by ending with a '/' character, as is possible in html, xml, and sgml. Instead I had to create a closing tag. What markup language is wikitag based on then?
Thanks once more - DropDeadGorgias 18:29 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I thought I replied hours ago. And after waking up fr. a nap, it turned out I just typed it out in FrontPage:
De rien. However, "Wikitag" doesn't exist and should be "Wiki markup". (Oui, my knowledge in computer terminology is very superficial.) Assuming that's still what you are interested in:
  1. Wikipedia:How to edit a page
  2. According to "Wikipedia", probably, Clifford Adams, not a Wikipedian, and create his Wiki script long ago for something else, presumably.
--Menchi 00:22 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Arr_.png for watchlist[edit]

The image, Arr_.png, on Watchlist of the "Watch new and modified articles" option is non-existent and shows up as an empty square with a default IE dead image border, quite ugly. But somehow it disappeared after a few hours into invisiblity. Is that intentional intent? Or is it a malfunction? Because the image name suggests "arrow" →. --Menchi 07:16 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

You're using the Enhanced Recent Changes option, which displays little arrows (Arr_r.png) next to items in Recent Changes for which there are multiple edits listed; when you click the arrow to expand the list, it turns down to show Arr_d.png.
When there is only one edit, the blank image Arr_.png is used as a spacer so the line lengths match up.
The watchlist shares the list display code with Recent Changes, so if you're using the enhanced mode, it'll use the empty spacer images in front of every line (since Watchlist does not look at history, only the most recent individual edit for each watched page, so there are no items to fold out on the list, and so no arrows are used)
Now, if it's showing as the dead image, there are several possibilities:
  • you have images set not to display -- turn them back on!
  • you have an error connecting to the server or for some other reason have a corrupted version of the file in your browser cache -- reload it. May need to force reloading (shift / ctrl / clear cache / etc ....)
  • ??
Anyway, looks fine to me. --Brion 08:59 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
After a little hashing on the developers' list we seem to have found the exact bit that IE doesn't like (main page content being absolutely positioned), and it looks totally unnecessary so it's gone now. :) If you still get the selection bug, force a reload (ctrl and/or shift along with hitting 'reload'; and/or try clearing cache files) to make sure you get the updated style sheet. --Brion 08:53 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the problem has no spread to all the pages. Pizza Puzzle At least, until I try ctrl-F5. Pizza Puzzle

I want to write something about methods of obtaining water in the wilderness, but I don't know what to title the article. The term I'm familiar with is evaporation still (still as in distillation), but that refers to just one of several devices. -Smack 06:48 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

You could call it Obtaining water in the wilderness or something like that. -- Tim Starling 06:53 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
If your methods include procedures you could also name it How to obtain water in the wilderness, like how it is named in HowTo. -Poor Yorick 06:57 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
wilderness water. water in the wilderness. Martin
gack! Why didn't I think of that? How to obtain water in the wilderness it is. -Smack


How are references to be cited, both in and out of the text? I have seen numerous ways of doing this, the most common way seems to be that it isn't done at all. Pizza Puzzle

I have wondered about that too, and have mostly cited in the == Reference == section because I think it's more common. And when the knowledge is public common knowledge, "Matsu (goddess) is said to have died in 28 or 16", then I don't cite, because there are thousands of sources on the same thing. --Menchi 05:40 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Yes, but a statement that Terra's inner core rotates 2&deg; more, per year, than the rest of the planet - should probably have a reference right there next to the statement, and Im not sure how that should look. Pizza Puzzle
I usually put in a [3] style reference, which works if you've got a URL for your reference. You can generally find a URL for articles in the major journals, but books are a bit of a problem. Perhaps in that case you could just use superscript references and a numbered list at the end. -- Tim Starling 07:44 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Yeah, I used the numbering endnotes system for book sources in Canuck. --Menchi 07:55 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Its interesting that u should note superscripts - I tried these; BUT, it doesn't work since superscripts screw up the line spacing. Just makes the page look awful. Pizza Puzzle

Super- and subscript convention[edit]

I would like to call for a convention to use super and subscripts as used at Three Principles of the People - so that line spacing remains more uniform. I also would like somebody to explain how one can do such scripting. Pizza Puzzle

Use Character Codes² from Character Map. I believe Alt-0178 is the code for ². Poor Yorick

Or you can switch from "English (United States - International)" to "English (United States - International)" on your typing input window of your Control Panels. Then you just ALT + 2 and 3 to get ² and ³.
I have no clue where ¹ is (ALT + 1 = ¡). I always just copy-&-pasted it, like I do with 4+ superscripts.
However, US-Int'l setting means that you need to type ' twice to get it. After years of doing it, I still find it mildly annoying. But such an annoyance is overwhelmed by the many conveniences US-Int'l brings. --Menchi 05:40 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That'll only work for a small subset of characters for which Unicode contains precreated super/subscript forms. (see PDF chart from for the codes -- eg &#x2071; == ⁱ superscript latin small letter i). Beware that not everyone has appropriate fonts to read these characters beyond the superscript 1 and 2 (¹ and ²) --Brion 04:49 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Yeh. Anyways, fixing all of the articles with super/sub, would be a monumentus (or very tedious) task. But yeh, if it'll fix line spacing, I say go for it. Poor Yorick
Seems to me that the available unicode symbols for superscripted 1 and 2 would only take care of a small percentage of the articles that have superscripts or subscripts (not to mention the fact that it destroys any semantic meaning encapsulated by using real sup and sub elements). I haven't personally tried it, but isn't there a way with CSS to correctly align superscripts and subscripts so the problems with line spacing do not occur? I'd think it'd be relatively easy to define the style attributes of sup and sub so that they are aligned with their parent's baseline, and/or modify the line-height or leading of the paragraph to accomodate super/subscripts.
For example:
abc abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE13 eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet. Abcd BNlabetkj2 blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkjWhee! blaetE eatkbk aet. Abcd BNlabetkj2 blaetEabc eatkbk abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet abcd BNlabetkj blaetE eatkbk aet. Abcd BNlabetkj2 blaetE eatkbk aet

-- Wapcaplet 19:07 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)


Also, the wiki continues to lag awfully. Is somebody ever going to do something about it? Pizza Puzzle

It is the problem for all encyclopediae. Thousands of new things appear everyday, but there are less than one thousand wikipedians. Bots and wikiprojects somehow improve the efficiency, but there will be no "quantum leap" unless being a wikipedian becomes a fashion. Right now, everybody just try to do their best. Wshun
I think Pizza Puzzle was referring to the fact that Wikipedia pages often load painfully slow. Didn't somebody say that we could get more RAM or something for the server, and that somebody is accepting donations? --Nelson 21:25 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Partial and all selection[edit]

I try to copy text from an article, but it insists on selecting all the stuff at the top of the page, the main page recent changes and title and egh make it stop! This is only occurring in article pages, not in wiki or talk pages. Pizza Puzzle

Try open another window, then "Edit" the article. With two windows side by side, you can copy whatever you want, even the tags!!! Wshun
Nice thought, but:
  1. It shouldn't have to be that difficult. We should be able to just copy from the article page.
  2. Until just recently, it wasn't that difficult; which suggests that something's gone wrong somewhere that needs to be looked into.
Paul A 03:54 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Everything's fine in Mozilla; seems to be a bug in Internet Explorer 6, triggered by using a correct DOCTYPE declaration. I've removed it temporarily; it should be okay in IE6 now. (Reload pages as necessary; some pages will have intermediate cached versions shown for non-logged-in users that won't be cleared until they are saved or otherwise forced to regenerate.) --Brion 04:10 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)
After a little hashing on the developers' list we seem to have found the exact bit that IE doesn't like (main page content being absolutely positioned), and it looks totally unnecessary so it's gone now. :) If you still get the selection bug, force a reload (ctrl and/or shift along with hitting 'reload'; and/or try clearing cache files) to make sure you get the updated style sheet. --Brion 08:53 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)



I was looking at split infinitive and noticed a "®" in "The American Heritage® Book of English Usage". Is this really required? CGS 11:53 29 Jun 2003 (UTC).

I don't think so, see OED. But I do see them on some websites too. --Menchi 23:33 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Auto-watchlist One's Own Uploaded Files[edit]

I copied this discussion from Wikipedia talk:Image use policy, as recommended by Martin, Fantasy 22:41 28 Jun 2003 (UTC):

Why does my uploaded image description page not show up on my watchlist? I really would like to know if someone is modifying something regarding my image. Is there a reason for it that it is not automatically on the Watchlist? Thanks, Fantasy 09:56 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Strange - I thought it did. :-( Well, you can go and fix that yourself (Wikipedia software is open source) or beg a developer on wikipedia:village pump, I guess. It's definately a good idea :) Martin 18:09 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Did you click on the image description page to add it to your watchlist, or just the article the photo is inlined at? Image pages appear on my watchlist, but I have to add them seperately. -- Infrogmation 23:15 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)
That is exactly the point. Why should I not want to watch my image? Is there a reason why it is not done automatically? Fantasy 16:44 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
We should, but many don't care for it. I guess that's irresponsible in a cruel sense, but uploaders aren't required by policy to look after their children... I mean, uploadees. It's a good manner though. --Menchi 16:54 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Sorry, I think, you got me wrong. I was asking about the "automatically" on the watchlist. Fantasy 17:35 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Yeah, I understood ya. I meant "We should want to watch our image, so it is a good reason to make it automatic. However, many may not care what happen to their images, so they may find such it being automatic annoying".
I personally always watchlist my uploadees, but then, I watchlist virtually all my edits too. I did want to bring up "Auto-watchlist your edit" idea to the community, but I knew the resistance would be too large, so I just keep on manually checkbox "Watch this article" for the next 1000 edits. Anyway, "Auto-watchlist your edit" is much more extreme than your "Auto-watchlist your uploadees", so your milder suggestion may come thru. Although not many has participated in this, again, probably as a result of "many don't care for it". Or ppl are just busy.
--Menchi 18:00 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
Check your special:Preferences, man, we *have* an option to auto-watchlist all your edits. However it doesn't currently trigger on uploads; I'll see about fixing that. --Brion 18:44 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I did check it, man, several times weeks and months ago. "Watch new and modified articles" does not suggest to me "Auto-watch your edits" at all. Even now, I had to read the whole Preferences three times before realizing that's what it is. I always thought it means making my watchlist filled with all "new and modified articles", something of a RecentChanges -- which made little sense because of the overlap in function, but still, that's what it meant to me.
But then, it's probably just me and my flawed understanding of syntax.
--Menchi 18:55 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

What is the standard width for a taxobox image? -- Tarquin 09:40 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)

I think something between 100 and 200 pixels; I think this is better asked at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tree of Life or somesuch. -- Timwi 09:47 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I'm busy adding pics to the birds taxoboxes and 250pixels seems about right. Have a look at Snow Goose or Bean Goose or Black Swan.
Adrian Pingstone 11:06 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Is there any way to keep sub and sup from creating "extra space" between lines? Pizza Puzzle

Then where would the sup and sub letters fit? CGS 22:35 27 Jun 2003 (UTC).
They would fit if they were made smaller. Pizza Puzzle
With km² (that doesn't use <sup>), no inter-line spacing occurs. For more examples, see Three Principles of the People. It only works with the numerals though. --Menchi 23:05 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

That's a browser issue, isn't it? I don't think there's anything Wikipedia can do about it. -- Timwi 09:45 28 Jun 2003 (UTC)

If its a browser issue, the wiki needs to inform people as to what browser they should use. Pizza Puzzle

A magic browser from fairyland that doesn't exist. :) I'm not aware of any browser that renders superscripts and subscripts that doesn't behave as above. If you do, I'd love to hear about it. --Brion 01:18 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Any HTML, CSS, or WAI gurus may want to check out the meta page m:Wikipedia accessibility, which I've set up to discuss accessibility issues on Wikipedia. It would also be great to have input from any users to whom accessibility is important for whatever reason (especially if you are disabled, use a text-only or speech browser, or otherwise require the benefits that accessible design provides). -- Wapcaplet 12:21 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

seems fine to me. See the tech mailing list for a proposed new design which avoids tables in the header & footers. -- tarquin (logged out)
The accessibility issue pages just seem to talk about blind people. Aren't there other accessibility issues we should be looking at?
Well, yeah. The page is there to bring up, and discuss, any potential accessibility issues. That often means accessibility for the blind, but as the opening paragraph states, it can mean other kinds of accessibility as well. -- Wapcaplet 23:13 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

More on Aradia. As I was told that the contributor who wrote those articles will be of no help on the subject, if no objection is made, during the weekend I'm going to change Roman and Greek into Wiccan tradition to avoid confussion. If there is some objection, please let me know. Thanks.-- The Warlock 05:09 27 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Please could one of the sysops re-generate a new version of Special:Longpages? I have moved/split up/reduced/etc. some of them and would like to see how the list has changed. Thanks a lot in advance. -- Timwi 20:01 23 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Also Orphan articles - still a small snapshot dated May 13th. -- SGBailey.

I think you need a developer for that, not just a sysop. -- Tim Starling 00:58 24 Jun 2003 (UTC)

How do I best approach a developer who is capable of doing this? (seeing as nobody has done it upon this request of mine) -- Timwi 18:56 26 Jun 2003 (UTC)
I might be one soon, maybe even this week. -- Tim Starling 22:22 29 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Message from David Thrale moved to the bottom. -- Tim Starling 03:55 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I've just been looking at the new layout for the top section of the Special:Recentchanges and was wondering if a link to the recent changes page of the Sep 11 wiki should be there. I'm not sure its relevant to the wikipedia and it looks like it was thrown in only to fill a bit more space in the box. (please dont take this to be an attack on the Sep 11 wiki, I just dont think its recentchages should be linked to from wikipedia recentchanges page) - Tobin Richard 16:13 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

How to save new articles as draft?[edit]

Hi I'm new to the wonderful world of Wiki - and it is really great!

For new articles that need to be written over several sessions (I read the FAQ that said Wiki prefers longer articles), is it possible to save them in draft form before they are finished? If not I'll do the primitive thing and do it all on my PC in notepad and cut and paste when I'm finished! David Thrale 11:45 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The FAQ probably goes a bit too far -- I think most editors these days consider a single paragraph to be a quite acceptable first article. However, it is generally easier to type a long article offline, especially if you have a decent text editor. Other than that, your options are:

  • Say in the edit summary that you're not finished
  • Add a note to the bottom of the article saying you're not finished
  • Create the article as a subpage of your user page, then move it to the correct location when it's finished.

-- Tim Starling 03:55 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I'd say don't worry about saving a work-in-progress. There's a dislike of people who make too many saves, but that normally means people who save an article every minute or two. Take a look at the edit history of English/British coin Penny for example, which shows me building up a huge article which eventually had to be broken up into 8 chapters! -- Arwel 17:45 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Welcome to the wiki, and don't worry about saving an article that only covers part of a topic. We have plenty of those as it is. What is this article you're writing? -Smack 01:31 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Can anyone help me identify this bird? I took the pic at the tropical house of the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire, England. Unfortunately, I don't even know which continent the bird is from. It could make an article illustration.
Thanks. Adrian Pingstone 22:05 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Not from my patch, Adrian. Jimfbleak will know. Very nice picure though. Tannin
It's a not quite fully adult Orange-headed Thrush, Zoothera citrina, tropical species from India across to S China and down to Indonesia. Likes thick forest, so not easy to see in the wild. jimfbleak 10:56 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A Map for US cities and Counties[edit]

Dunno if anyone has suggested this before; when browsing random articles, I often come across some of the many U.S. cities and counties imported by Rambot. It would be quite cool, I think, to have a small state map that indicates whereabout these cities and counties are (a dot for cities, a highlighted outline for counties, sort of like we already have for U.S. state articles). Is there a public-domain or GPL source for maps like this? If not, I don't imagine it'd be too hard for a dedicated soul to create them (just time-consuming). -- Wapcaplet 23:32 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I did find a collection of public-domain U.S. maps, including nice large county maps like this one of Ohio. They would take quite a bit of editing to reduce to an appropriate format for what I'm thinking of, but could be quite nice! If anybody knows of another public source for similar maps, let me know. I'd be interested in working on these. -- Wapcaplet 23:37 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

There is always the U.S. Geological Survey which has data and a web application to generate maps of just about anywhere. They are more like street maps though. Never underestimate the numbers of dedicated souls out there, myself included. These things have a way of eventually getting done. -- Ram-Man 00:33 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I did look at that web site and they want us to add a citation saying that we got the maps from their web site. It is public domain, so doesn't that mean that the citation is not strictly required? I don't know enough about copyright issues, so maybe I am missing something. -- Ram-Man 00:39 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Since there are so many US cities and towns, I think the best idea would be if we could have an in-software method of converting longitude-latitude co-ordinates to a dot on a map. Possible implementations are popping into my mind as I type -- I don't think it would be that hard. -- Tim Starling 01:08 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Ideas please to m:Wikipediatlas with the others. --Brion 01:17 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Based on these maps (well, the one for New York), I quickly (ish - 20 minutes) did for the state of New York a set (62) of PNGs of the state with each county highlighted individually in red (as with the images of British counties such as at Warwickshire); should I bother uploading these? I know it's only one state, but I could do the others over the next few days if people want. They are available here (I haven't shrunk them yet, though). Alternatively, I could not bother :-) -- James F. 01:22 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I did California and Nevada some time ago, by all means do more if you like. It will likely be quite some while, if ever, before we have an automatic system for doing this. --Brion 01:42 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
If we collaborated, we could pretty quickly get through all of the states (as long as we can agree on consistent choices of color and size). Ideally, we'd have software to automatically render this stuff (and even more ideally, it'd be SVG), but maybe we should cobble something together in the meantime, at the very least for the U.S. counties. I am thinking that the state should have a black outline, with 50% or so grey lines for the county outlines. The counties should all be white, except the highlighted one which should be perhaps a nice blue color (Good contrast with both the white and the grey/black). Somewhere around 200-300 pixels wide would probably be good, with a clickable link to a larger version (especially for large states). Just my thoughts, at least. As for accreditation issues - I would have no problem crediting the US Census or UTexas or whoever as the original source, but we'll be doing lots of manipulation to these images so it's probably not necessary.
As for source material for the maps, I've found three good possibilities:
  • US Census Bureau, clickable county maps, good quality, but colored. Might be hard to trim out unnecessary stuff.
  • UTexas, particularly the US Census 1990 outline maps. Nice clean black and white version, but has extra garbage that would need to be removed.
  • Texas A&M, do-it-yourself county highlighted maps. Makes our work much easier, but I do not know if these images are public or GPL, and it may be hard to remove the county names.
I'd personally prefer the black and white 1990 Census outline maps. Anyone who's interested in helping me work on these, leave a note on my talk page. Or, if James F. wants to do them all, I would have no problem with that either. Let me know if you want me to lend a hand, James. I can make my images conform to whatever you're comfortable with. -- Wapcaplet 02:54 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
P.S. - I've put a sample image (based on one of James') of what I have in mind on my talk page. Comments welcome! -- Wapcaplet 03:11 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I'm happy to get on with it on my own if people think that this will be worthwhile. I did the examples with full red as that's what used elsewhere for similar positional micro-maps (counties of Britain amongst them). It's clear and visible. We could decide to use something else, if you want, but... Standards are standards, after all. I'd suggest making this part of the suitableWikiProject; move discussion there? -- James F. 03:22 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Move page bug[edit]

I attempted to move Rulers of Kievan Rus to Rulers of Kievan Rus'. (The latter spelling is more correct; the apostrophe denotes a special character in the Cyrillic alphabet; if you're curious, look up soft sign in that article.)
Here's what seems to have happened. The editable source text was moved to the new page, while the displayable HTML code remained at the old page. The new page is still officially blank. When you try to view it, you are taken directly to the edit box, as though you were creating a page from scratch, but the edit box has an article in it.
I almost feel sorry for digging up such an out-of-the-way bug :p -Smack 06:19 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A caching bug, it seems. I'll look at it... --Brion 06:42 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Smack, take a look at it again if you're still around and tell me how Rulers of Kievan Rus' looks. It _should_ reload correctly now. (But I've still got to fix the underlying bug...) --Brion 06:46 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Works fine now, for me at any rate; thanks. -Smack 07:02 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I have a new flag which should be added to Recent Changes. T should be a third selectable option [] Text Removed - which should be used to indicate any edit which involves a substantial deletion of text - let the border grey area have reasonable sway - but any user who cuts and deletes several paragraphs, should select this option. Pizza Puzzle

Maybe D for deleted text, perhaps automatic, in case people "forget" to mark it... Perhaps people could select in preferences, how many bytes the page can be reduced by, without them seeing a D (or something similar)... كسيپ Cyp 19:16 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Good idea. I favor Cyp's version. -Smack 03:42 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Vote time (again) - this time about the garish ameteurishness of the new Main Page design. Given that the redesign wasn't announced (AFAIAA - certainly, I wasn't aware of it), I thought I should make sure everyone (who reads the VP) is at least aware of its existence. Get voting. (BTW, I take neither credit nor blame for starting this vote, merely being the first voter :-)) -- James F. 01:28 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

In case the new design gets reverted again, the modified version may be seen at Main Page/Temp. -Smack 03:42 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A Map for US cities and Counties[edit]

Discussion moved to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. Counties (all the way at the bottom). -- Wapcaplet 13:51 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia Emails from confused people[edit]

Come to think of it, do the wikipædia-people ever get e-mails, asking them to correct an error in a page, from people who haven't noticed the edit this page button? كسيپ Cyp 14:35 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

E-mails? No. Bug reports? About once a month [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]. I've no idea what makes some people find it easier to file a bug report on SourceForge than to click "edit page" and fix it themselves... --Brion 18:20 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I'd theorize that it is due to the SEP field created by an "edit this page" link on a public encyclopædia... Being able to completely edit public internet sites is relatively unusual, being able to report a bug is relatively normal, and therefore not covered by the SEP field. Should be possible to test the theory, by adding an extra "Bug reports" link, and seeing if putting a lot of "edit this page" links around one of the "Bug reports" links affects the ratio of how many people follow each "Bug reports" link. كسيپ Cyp 15:29 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A Hydrogen Peroxide Question[edit]

Can people take a look at Hydrogen peroxide? There's currently all sorts of strange stuff about cures for AIDS in there: looks very dodgy to me. -- The Anome 11:58 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Capitalization in titles[edit]

I haven't been able to find a page saying what kind of standard we follow in capitalizing movie titles, book titles and so on. Is there? I started seeing this as a problem when I've seen Once More, With Feeling changed, I'd created it with a lower "with", I always thought that "with" was to be used like "of" or "the", that are never capitalized in the middle of a title. But I guess that I was wrong. So, is there a standard? I've searched on the net, but I found nothing, just this page stating several different ways, none of them "official". What's wikipedia's standard? Lazarus Long 11:31 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Use the capitalization used by the work itself. If there are conflicts, between editions then... panic! -- Tarquin 14:05 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

But what if the title is ALL CAPS? It happens very often, especially with movies... I think a standard to follow would be better! Lazarus Long 20:16 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Agent Smith[edit]

(A. Smith) Question: why are people editing this? the nice way that this user is respnding to edits. I hope he realizes this is a collaborative work! -- cimon avaro

I think Cimon refers to User talk:Agent Smith. -- Tim Starling 06:32 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Upload troubles[edit]

I found that, after I uploaded an image, it was still locked for editing. (The Windows error dialog said "source or destination file may be currently in use.") I tried to duplicate this by uploading another file to Yahoo, but the bug did not repeat itself, so this seems to be a Wikipedia bug, rather than a Mozilla bug. (If you really want to check, I'm using Moz Firebird 0.6.) -Smack 01:44 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

So first you uploaded to Wikipedia, then when you tried to edit the file immediately afterwards, it was locked. Correct? -- Tim Starling 01:54 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
It's a browser bug. --Brion 03:59 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Yes, and thanks. -Smack 04:40 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)


Hooray. Color on the home page. The first time I landed here I thought I had gone back through a wormhole into gopherspace Rich J 00:49 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

*grumbles* Girly color that it is. They evidently didn't like my idea of making the colors grayer. -Smack 01:31 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Girly colors! OOKay. I've got my camera ready. Let me know when you're going to come swinging in on that vine. I guess any open venture (soc.history?) becomes captive to the unsmiling. Rich J 03:03 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I thought it was such a good idea that I even did it. But mav didn't like it. Note that the colour was entirely stripped off by Oliver P., a few minutes ago. -- Tim Starling 01:38 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Here we go with the edit wars... -Smack 01:44 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I reverted Oliver's stripping (Yikes! That sounds a lot different to what it was meant to mean. But it is 6.19am and I am tired!) and left a note on his page pointing out that over all the pages this change was discussed, the clear majority seems to favour the change. Oliver is a decent chap. I don't image him waging a colour war on the issue. Well I sure hope to hell not! FearÉIREANN 05:23 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Since I don't think there's a talk page for Recent Changes, I'll post this here. Could we please not have the blue text in pink table on yellow background at the top of Special:Recentchanges? It looks really wrong... it was fine the way it was. Evercat 20:16 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I agree, it looked much better plain -- sannse 20:25 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
You obviously don't know about Wikipedia:Recentchanges and its associated talk page. -- Tim Starling 01:15 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Is everyone else experiencing several minutes of lag to the Wikipedia server, rather often, at the moment? كسيپ Cyp 18:11 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, I am experiencing a little bit of lag. MB 18:27 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Then what makes you think it's a great time to turn on special pages that can take several minutes of database grinding to generate every time they're viewed? --Brion 18:41 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Wow, if they access the database evrytime they are viewed, that really sucks! What a crappy design (no offense to whoever designed that)! I guess they need to be redesigned? BTW, how do we know it is a database problem that is causing the lag? It could be that turning on these options won't slow down the wikipedia at all. I propose we turn them on over the 4th of July weekend to test them out. MB 18:59 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
It's a lot more complicated than you think. You should probably read wikitech-l for a while, and maybe read up about the architecture, before you declare it "crappy". Optimization has been discussed at great length on wikitech-l, and various kinds of caching have been implemented. For example, there's an HTML cache for anonymous users, who make up the bulk of page-view requests. -- Tim Starling 00:17 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Could we turn back on the disabled special features like Special:Lonelypages, since we now have 2 servers? MB 17:21 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Sig. Bug[edit]

I found an interesting bug when I edited a page, and I was logged out before saving the page. The sig is half me half my ip. Kinda wierd. See here MB 16:52 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Chinese Names in alphabetalized lists[edit]

There is a discussion over at Talk:Figure skating over the best way to list a chinese skater, that is probably relavent to more that just that page. Since the chinese call themselves by their family name then their given name do we list them under their first or last name or should we swap the names around to fit into our standard way of doing things. I don't want to clog up the pump so please add coments to figure skating. Theresa knott 14:42 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Fellow Wikipedians, here is a question in need of a fast answer. As requested by Brion on wikitech-l, date formats in special pages, ~~~~ signatures, etc. will soon be changed to suit your preferences. You will have the choice of:

  • Don't care (which is 15 Jan, 2001 for this language)
  • Jan 15, 2001
  • 15 Jan, 2001
  • 2001 Jan 15

The question is, for each format, should the time come before or after the date? And should there be a comma between time and date, or just a space? I want to get this done quickly because there's a broken copy in CVS and I want to upload a working one before I go to bed in an hour or two. People tend to get irate when the CVS copy is broken, so I don't want to leave it any longer. -- Tim Starling 12:53 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Time before date. -- Wapcaplet 13:00 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Like 13:00, 3 Jul 2003 (comma after time, but not between month and year in this date format) - Patrick 13:14 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you. Patrick, well spotted with that extra comma. The formats as I now understand them are:
  • 13:00, Jan 15, 2001
  • 13:00, 15 Jan 2001
  • 13:00, 2001 Jan 15
Correct? -- Tim Starling 13:36 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
looks good to me, Fantasy 14:15 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
So will this be a feature in the preferences? MB 16:03 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Yes. It will also convert dates typed in articles to the user's preference (or not change them, if the user has no stated preference). -- Tim Starling 00:17 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I would have thought 2001 Jan 15 13:00 would have been more appropriate, as that is sorted, from most significant time to least significant time, rather than all mixed up. (Or maybe ‮2001 Jan 15 13:00‬, but I don't think that's used anywhere.) كسيپ Cyp 17:30 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Well, Wapcaplet and Patrick seemed pretty sure of themselves. BTW, it's in CVS now, and hopefully will soon be up on -- Tim Starling 00:17 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Search function weirdness[edit]

When I search for the word "welcome", I get the following message:

"Search results

For query "welcome"

For more information about searching Wikipedia, see Searching Wikipedia. Badly formed search query

We could not process your query. This is probably because you have attempted to search for a word fewer than three letters long, which is not yet supported. It could also be that you have mistyped the expression, for example "fish and and scales". Please try another query."

However, searching for "welcomes", "wlecome", or "welcmoe" seems to work fine. This looks rather weird. Could that be a database bug? Nafnaf 10:13 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Common words, searching for which is not possible

OIC. Would it it desirable to make the error message a little more specific? (The page that the error message currently links to has the relevant information, though). Thanks. Nafnaf 10:24 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Colours on Wikipedia[edit]

(the colors aren't great either)

I've been experimenting with overriding the default colour settings of my browser (IE6). Wikipedia appears to ignore my settings for background, but respect my setting for text, meaning that if I set my browser to white-on-black, it all goes bit Pete Tong. Is this a browser bug with IE, a problem with Wikipedia, or just one of those things?

I can verify that this happens in Mozilla too, but only if the option to always override the webpage isn't set. Probably Wikipedia just needs to explicity state that body text is to be black. That way, the user can force override it if he wishes, but if he doesn't force the override, the colours will be as stated by the page... Evercat 19:06 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Using CSS to define your preferred colors might be a better solution (if MSIE supports it - I know Mozilla and Opera do). I am fairly certain that the colors that you can select in the preferences of Mozilla or MSIE only apply when no color is explicitly specified by the document itself. The background color is explicitly given in the body tag of Wikipedia articles (and talk pages), but the text color is not specified. At any rate, using CSS for your preferred look-and-feel is probably the way to go (that is part of the reason they were designed!) -- Wapcaplet 00:27 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

How to save new articles as draft?[edit]

Hi I'm new to the wonderful world of Wiki - and it is really great!

For new articles that need to be written over several sessions (I read the FAQ that said Wiki prefers longer articles), is it possible to save them in draft form before they are finished? If not I'll do the primitive thing and do it all on my PC in notepad and cut and paste when I'm finished! David Thrale 11:45 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The FAQ probably goes a bit too far -- I think most editors these days consider a single paragraph to be a quite acceptable first article. However, it is generally easier to type a long article offline, especially if you have a decent text editor. Other than that, your options are:

  • Say in the edit summary that you're not finished
  • Add a note to the bottom of the article saying you're not finished
  • Create the article as a subpage of your user page, then move it to the correct location when it's finished.

-- Tim Starling 03:55 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I'd say don't worry about saving a work-in-progress. There's a dislike of people who make too many saves, but that normally means people who save an article every minute or two. Take a look at the edit history of English/British coin Penny for example, which shows me building up a huge article which eventually had to be broken up into 8 chapters! -- Arwel 17:45 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Welcome to the wiki, and don't worry about saving an article that only covers part of a topic. We have plenty of those as it is. What is this article you're writing? -Smack 01:31 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I just noticed something about the wiki timeline. The events in the year pages are not always shown in the decade pages. Is this intentional (lower threshold of significance for year pages), or is this something that someone needs to write a bot to fix? -Smack 23:17 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

If the decade pages included every event mentioned in the year pages, and the century pages included every event mentioned in the decade pages (every event mentioned in the year pages), I think you can see it would get a little unwieldy. :) They're meant to provide a general overview, with the more specific pages being, well, more specific. --Brion 04:23 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Here's an amusing bug noticed by an anon. contributor to ASCII cows. <pre>\0</pre> becomes:


-- Tim Starling 14:27 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, I think it is a parsing error or something. I found a similar error related to images. See Wikipedia:Village pump/May 2003 archive 5 for more info. It really confused me. MB 18:38 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Our parser is a BigBallOfMud and contains many such errors due to bad interactions between different passes. The syntax needs to be more formally codified and the parser rewritten. In the meantime, these little bugs could probably be worked around, should anyone have the time and inclination to dig into them. --Brion 04:23 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
If a committee is formed to re-design the parser. I would be more than happy to help. Just let me know. MB 04:40 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I've suggested several times on Wiki-tech-L that we use Wookee as our parser, but nobody seems to pick up on it. :-( -- Tarquin 08:45 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Well, Wookee is in perl, meaning it would have to be adapted or otherwise shoved, bitten, and squished into the PHP code... That, and the code doesn't seem to be obviously online for perusal, so it's very mysterious. :) If someone familiar with it thinks this can be done and is willing to work on it... --Brion 08:54 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
You could compile the Perl code to C and then link it to PHP at compile time. Well... I don't actually know if that's possible, it's just an idea. -- Tim Starling 09:06 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I thought Perl was interpreted? CGS 12:11 2 Jul 2003 (UTC).
Ah. A common misconception; PERL hasn't been interpretted for a while now (it's JIT compiled; this has been the case since, IIRC, version 5). -- James F. 12:58 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I thought Perl had a translator to C, but I can't find it now so maybe I was mistaken. This is the standard way to do it. -- Tim Starling 00:42 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I had figured that since Wookee just takes an input of wikitext and spits out the HTML at the other end, you could just call the perl script from PHP. However, I gather that it's not economical with memory because it's OO-based. At the very least, it might be a good model for a new PHP parser. I can email the script to anyone who wants, but its author (Mychaeel) prefers it not being publicly downloadable. -- Tarquin 09:15 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
PHP doesn't appear to have a Perl module, judging by its function reference. Maybe there's a third-party extension. -- Tim Starling 00:42 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Same for
, it seems... Except, only the last one displays, all previous on the same page disappear... Didn't know bugs can get that strange... كسيپ Cyp 19:16 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Don't worry, I fixed it in CVS already. -- Tim Starling 14:06 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I've aked Mych to make the source for Wookee available: you can download it from -- Tarquin 11:49 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hi guys-

I've been trying to go through some of the articles here and correct grammar and facts. Generally, my experience has been pretty positive, but just recently, I've run into a particular user who seems very protective of his sentences. I feel bad accusing him of anti-wiki behaviour, and I don't want to post his user name, because he is generally very polite, and does not attack people, as some have historically done. Nevertheless, his entries are poorly worded, highly POV, and often with a disregard to facts. I have attempted to edit some of 'his' articles, and i have tried to post helpful comments on his user page, but he has so far been polite in Talk pages, but resistent in articles. He went through some of the articles and replaced some of the poorly worded, POV sentances that I had taken the trouble to remove/edit. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this guy? -DropDeadGorgias 14:17 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I'll look into it, but based on your spelling in your post, you may not be the best person for the job ;). MB 17:24 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Ouch... My wiki-ego is wounded. But thanks.  ;)
While we're on the subject, has anyone requested a spellcheck feature? If you've ever submitted anything on the message boards of, it highlights words that aren't in its dictionary. Something like that could be very useful here on wikipedia. -DropDeadGorgias 17:52 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Yeah, that would be great, and I am sure there is a GPL spell checker out there somewhere that could be adobted for our needs. MB 18:31 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

f(x) = x2; <---this is breaking apart (line break) at function, right after the f. Pizza Puzzle

Maybe you should think about getting a web browser that does not do that. Looks fine in Mozilla 1.3.1 and Opera 7. Any hack included to prevent it from happening on your browser is likely to uglify the code. -- Wapcaplet 13:19 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

As long as Im using Netscape or IE Im using what nearly every web user is using and the code should render properly for such browsers. Pizza Puzzle

Yes, but I don't think it should come at the cost of making the article harder to edit. No reasonable browser should be line-breaking on parentheses, and using workarounds to avoid it could have unforeseen effects in correct browsers; I think it would be bad to cater to users of broken browsers. By the way, which version(s) of Netscape and MSIE are you using? There are significant differences in behavior between various versions of MSIE; there are enormous differences between MSIE for Windows and MSIE for Mac. Netscape 4.x is almost a totally different browser than Netscape 6.x. According to some sources, MSIE 6 (presumably for Windows) has the largest market share at the moment, but that could change, and such statistics are notoriously unreliable. -- Wapcaplet 13:56 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)
You can find great browser statistics for the past year or month at the Google Zeitgeist. Scroll down to browsers. Its pretty accurate, because it tracks the browsers that are used to access google. You can also find info on the OS's used. The only source of unreliability is that many mozilla and opera users have special plug-ins to tell web servers that they are using IE. This is because of the unfortunate tendency for many webpages to instantly reject any browser that isn't IE. I myself use mozilla, mostly for the pop-up and ad blocking. Other than the fact that some websites have a javascript control that doesn't let you in unless you're using IE, I have not noticed a problem accessing sites. -DropDeadGorgias 14:17 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Well, the google statistics give a pretty good idea of prevalent browsers and operating systems for people who use Google, but do we have statistics anywhere for people who use Wikipedia? Being an open-content project, it may have a tendency to draw a proportionally larger percentage of, say, Linux users. Slashdot, or, probably get a lot more than 1% Linux users, and consequently, fewer MSIE users. And of course, as you note, Opera's default behavior is to identify itself as MSIE. There are all sorts of things that can throw these statistics off. -- Wapcaplet 14:44 1 Jul 2003 (UTC) usage stats. Only the top 15 browsers are shown; MSIE 6.0 and 5.x dominate in the June statistics. -- Wapcaplet 15:00 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I don't what could be done about it. Putting a nonbreaking space between the f and the ( makes the function look wrong. Putting it between <math> tags means it no longer fits properly on the line. I reckon the best thing to do it put all functions on a line by themselves, but others might not like that. Other than that we could just live with breaks, it's not really the end of the world is it? Theresa knott 13:47 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Its a sign of the end. Soon Bush will blow the DOOMtrumpet. Pizza Puzzle

It looks fine in my regular Wikipedia browser. (Opera 6.05.)
It looks fine in my regular everything-else-except-Wikipedia (Mozilla 1.4b)
It looks fine in my 27-Opera-windows-open, 48-Mozilla-windows-open, better-use-another-browser-for-this-job browzer. (IE 6.0)
It looks ... well, "fine" is not the word for it, but perfectly readable and definately not broken in my test-this-page-for-ultimate-compatibility browser, Netscape 3.04.
So where is the issue? You've got a problem with your Internet Explorer installation, Pizza Puzzle. There are two ways you could fix that; (a) buggerise about with Windows fixes and patches and registry tweaks which almost never work and then wipe your drive and reinstall Windows, or (b) download Mozilla. Either method will work. (You can trust me on this: I do this stuff for a living.) Method (b) is one hell of a lot easier. Tannin 16:27 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

But what exactly is looking fine? The specific problem I am referring to no longer exists at the page in question - its actually quite rare as certain spacing conditions have to exist in order for the incident to occur. In any case, Ill look at Mozilla. Pizza Puzzle

I just tried viewing Function in MSIE 4.0 and 5.0 (Windows). Re-sizing the window to just the right place does cause the line break to occur between "f" and "(x)". So Pizza Puzzle is not alone here (since it apparently also occurs in 6.0). Granted, the window has to be just the right size, but in a math article with lots of "f(x)"s occurring, it becomes pretty likely to happen regularly. MSIE 4/5/6 are pretty obviously botched in this respect (neither Opera nor Mozilla, nor, I presume, Netscape, suffer from the same problem), but it's definitely an issue to take under consideration. Unfortunately, I know of no way to prevent breaking from occurring, aside from placing chunks of text inside <span style="white-space: nowrap">, but it's unclear whether that would even matter, since it's not wrapping on whitespace. I think that users of MSIE 4/5/6 are just going to be SOL, if it happens. Sorry Pizza Puzzle, I've been doing web design for almost 10 years, and MSIE is a continual source of headaches; if anyone knows a good solution, I'd love to hear it, but this sounds like one of those that just can't be fixed. -- Wapcaplet 16:58 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Hm. I'd love to log in as KF but I can't. Looking at Recent Changes, no one else seems to have that problem. Could someone tell me what is wrong?

Hm, I'd love to help you, but you've given absolutely no information that could be used to do so. What, exactly, is the procedure you're following and what, exactly, is the wiki doing in response? Are there error messages? Are cookies enabled in your browser? Are you in fact KF? ;) --Brion 22:11 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
If all else fails, try Mozilla temporarily. It does miracles. --Menchi 22:26 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Okay, sorry for the lack of information. I'm using Internet Explorer (and have been doing so all the time, and haven't changed any of the settings disabling cookies or whatever). When I click on Wikipedia (any page) I'm told that I'm not logged in. The spaces for my username and my password are empty. I type in both and get the message "Log in successful". Whatever page I choose next I'm again "not logged in". And there is no way I can prove who I am.
From that description, it's almost certainly a (no-)cookie problem. Sad to say, we don't actually do a double-check that the cookies were received and saved by your computer: so if the login goes okay, it says "success!" and tells your browser to save id cookies, but the next page you go to, there's no cookie returned to identify you, so you're not logged in. If all is well, you should have a PHPSESSID cookie, a wcUserID cookie, and a wcUserName cookie from If you don't have these, make sure you haven't accidentally set it to not accept cookies or something. (Check also if you're behind some kind of proxy that's meant to strip out advertisements; sometimes these may go for cookies too.) --Brion 22:52 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Thanks an awful lot. I'm impressed. Someone else seems to have changed my cookie settings. Something still seems to be wrong here, but at least I can log in again. Thanks again, and enjoy your Saturday night! KF 23:09 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Current Events doesn't render properly in Safari - the text goes over the sidebar. I don't know enough HTML to consider editing... Also, I found that typing Loma-Prieta in the search bar brings up the Mira Loma entry, even though there is a Loma-Prieta page (it was empty, so I changed it to a redirect to Loma Prieta - oh, I just realized it should have been Loma Prieta Earthquake!). Anyway, the search behaved the same both before and after I added the redirect to the page. -Aion 18:58 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Safari renders all pages here at Wikipedia just fine. The only thing that does not work is when you make the page too small from left to right. Then the text in the upper right region overlap the left column. Drag the Safari window bigger (the horizontal size) and see if that fixes things. Also, are you using the latest Safari 1.0 (v85)? As I said, Safari works fine for me at Wikipedia. Good luck. --Mahongue 02:02 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)
There was an HTML error on the Current events page, which I've now fixed. Does it render properly now? --Zundark 19:23 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

No, it's still the same. It looks like maybe the "Hong Kongese constitutional changes" item is setting the width of the sidebar to be too wide? It renders properly in IE, and Netscape, though. So it might be a Safari problem. -Aion 21:15 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Putting 'loma prieta' in the search box and hitting 'go' brings up Loma Prieta earthquake for me. Current events looks fine in Safari 1.0 for me, though if you shrink the window down real small of ourse you get problems. More detail please? --Brion 22:06 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I tend to disagree with what user:Mydogategodshat is currently doing. He has set a 6 links design, and is currently adding them to many articles. First the design is quite different from what is current practice. But more importantly, for some of the articles, it introduces links to articles that have nothing to do with the current topic. If such a practice becomes common, we are gonna find hundreds of links at the bottom of articles. I don't think it is very wise.

For example, he put this new design on the [10]

similarly, I could set a list of six links about ecology, and put them there...till the point where we would have dozen of packages of six links. Here for example, I don't think that List of Marketing Topics is in any way relevant.

As I also told him, I also think it is not a good idea to introduce html code so liberally, as it makes the article edition more scary to non html-introduced people. I think that whenever possible, we should keep editing easy. The improvement does not appear to me so obvious that it absolutely require to introduce this.

I would be glad to have some feedback on this.


It's a table. It's grim. Change to a plain list if these lists are really necessary. -- Tarquin 16:16 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Agreed. These should be lists, if they should be there at all. See Wikipedia:How to use tables (most of which I wrote, I admit, but it's all true, I swear). They're sort of like see-alsos, but aren't really always related to the article... hmm. -- Wapcaplet 03:16 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Big white blob[edit]

Something I caught moments of on the news last night but didn't see in full -- some sort of weird white blob thing on a beach in south america. what is it and do we need an article on it?

Google is your friend...
Sounds fun. But is there enough info for an article? --Menchi 09:08 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Let's keep an eye on the story. When they announce which species it is, we can add (or create) to the article for that species and mention "in ... 2003, a ... was found washed up ... etc" -- Tarquin 16:16 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Paragraph breaks in meta pages[edit]

My question is, should long posts to meta pages be split up into several paragraphs with blank space in between (as Nafnaf's, above; there doesn't seem to be a better example on hand) or separated by line breaks (as this one)? I find that paragraph breaks within posts are rather annoying, but some people don't seem to think so.
In the same vein, what's with the apparent custom of placing a horizontal line before every new post in talk: pages? -Smack 07:35 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, if you want people to be able to read what you post, paragraph breaks are a very wise thing. As is breaking up unrelated discussions with a horizontal rule or heading. --Brion 07:38 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)
A good example has presented itself: Anthere's post below.
I was talking about breaking up related discussions with horizontal rules. -Smack 17:34 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Is there any kind of rule about whether "Saint" is abbreviated in article titles? —Paul A 05:44 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

"Saint" is not abbreviated is article titles about individual saints (Saint George, Saint Nicholas), however it may be abbreviated in names of building, etc. when this is common practice (St. David's Cathedral, but Cathedral of Saint Stephan). Furthermore, the title "Saint" is avoided in article titles when possible (John the Baptist, Martin of Tours) - Efghij

Should an article in my User talk:Dieter Simon really appear in Yahoo Search under the heading User talk:Dieter Simon - Wikipedia in which an item is being discussed between two users in their what after all is a private talk page? Could this not become embarassing at times, especially if policy such as NPOV or copy right issues might be discussed? --Dieter Simon 00:41 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Don't write anything on a public web site that you don't want to read on the front page of the New York Times the next morning. There is no such thing as a "private talk page" here. If you want privacy, send e-mail. And hope they don't send all your correspondence to the Times later. ;) --Brion 00:51 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yeah, Brion, point taken :-). Comes as a bit of a shock though. --Dieter

At least the conversation will drop out of the search engines eventually if you remove it from the current revision. If you make a post to Usenet, it's archived forever. -- Tim Starling 03:46 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I was able to edit a user's page. Is that right?[edit]

I'm really impressed with Wikipedia and am considering setting up a user page. As a simple experiment I tried editing an existing user's page (User:IZAK) and, to my surprise, it worked. Is that the way it's intended? I'm confused because I would think that a user's page would belong to them. For example, what keeps someone from adding fictitious bibliographic information to a user's page?

(Needless to say I un-did the edit I made to IZAK's page.)

Yes, it's possible to edit other users' pages. The idea is that no page, even user pages, belongs to any one person (and it's useful to be able to fix a broken link, for example, on somebody else's user page). There's nothing to stop people adding incorrect info to a user page (apart from a lack of desire to do it), but suspicious looking changes are usually undone pretty swiftly, just as bad edits to encyclopaedia articles are undone. Welcome to the 'pedia, by the way! --Camembert
It should be said that good-faith edits of other people's user pages are probably outnumbered by vandalism and misplaced discussion (which is meant to go on "User talk"), but that's wiki for you. -- Tim Starling 03:46 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

wikipedia as dict-ionary[edit]

I wonder if someone thought about making dict files of the Wikipedia. It would be cool to have the Wikipedia wherever I am, independent of an internet connection. (Okay, I still need my laptop for this...) dict seems a good way to achieve this. I'm willing to spend some time hacking a Python script that can create the dict files from the SQL stuff. But I'd like to know if other people are interested in this as well, or maybe there's someone who already did this job... :) --Guaka 22:38 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Doesn't Tombraider achieve this? CGS 22:40 5 Jul 2003 (UTC).
You mean Tomeraider? No... First of all, tomeraider is shareware. And AFAICS it is totally not meant to convert the wikipedia into the dict format. Guaka 02:37 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Ha ha :) I know it's not meant to convert files to dict format, but it does what you want - view files on the go without a net connection. CGS 20:28 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Another thing is... Tomeraider is non-free software. This is already enough reason not to use it. But even if I wanted to, I couldn't because I run GNU/Linux. Guaka 16:06 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)
If it's the right tool for the job, swallow your pride and run it through Wine. CGS 22:15 7 Jul 2003 (UTC).

Erm, excuse me if I'm missing something, but wouldn't it be silly to view Wikipedia on non-free software after we go through so much trouble to make sure that the content is under the GFDL? If the content is free but the medium is not, then the company that produces it controls the content, albeit in an indirect fashion. The company could go out of business and render Tomeraider files useless, etc. At any rate, I would be interested in seeing a GPL'ed Python script that could accomplish this task, especially since I'm a beginning programmer and I'm interested in learning Python. And I'm a beginning Linux user who doesn't have a clue how to use Wine, fix problems with a program running in Wine, or anything particularly complex at all. --Nelson 23:41 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I fully agree with that Nelson. We just need to have a name now, so that we have a page for it. Or maybe this project would better fit on the Meta Wikipedia? Guaka 00:10 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Factual error[edit]

I was parlaying the timeline that is Jefferson Davis into something reasonably article-like when I came upon a statement that Davis was elected to the House of Representatives in 1845. From context, I inferred that this was the United States House of Representatives, not a similarly-named legislative body of the state of Mississippi. The problem is, in case you haven't figured it out yet, that 1845 is not an election year. I think I have three options at this point: keep the erroneous date, spend hours finding a free resource where I can find the correct date, or scrap the whole timeline as factually untrustworthy. -Smack 07:24 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water for goodness sake! Just because there is one error do not delete the whole thing. I check each Events entry in the day articles I work on and sometimes delete several entries that I cannot confirm. And there is such a thing as a run-off elections and maybe a minor error where the author wrote "elected" when "took office" should have been inputted instead. --mav 07:31 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)
The Funk & Wagnall's encyclopedia that's collecting dust in the other room here says "...He was a planter in Mississippi from 1835 to 1845, when he was elected to the U.S. Congress. In 1846 he resigned his seat..." No details, but it could well be a mid-term election due to the previous guy resigning or dying, or some sort of run-off. Or, of course, it could also be badly worded. --Brion 08:16 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Village Pump is too long for me to edit without truncating, but 1845 seems correct for Jefferson Davis. See [Biographical Directory of the United States Congress]. -- Someone else 08:39 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

That does confirm he started his term in 1845. The article claims he entered office in December 1845, which if true would be consistent with a late election (in 1845). --Brion 08:44 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Very well then. The timeline says that he took office on December 8, 1845. Unless someone here objects, I'll say explicitly that this was a special election. (Which is rather odd, since Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution says that vacancies in the House shall be filled by "writ of election" of the governor of the state affected. I'll just say that he was elected to fill a vacancy.) -Smack 23:51 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)
On the other hand, his biography on the Congress website says he served in the House from March 4, 1845 -- right at the start of the 29th Congress -- until his June 1846 resignation. However, I see December or December 8th, 1845, sometimes with a November or November 4, 1845 election date, plastered all over mysterious amateur web sites. Anyone want to look up the Congressional Record and make sure? :P --Brion 00:19 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The Treaty of Waitangi article crashes my browser! (Mozilla 1.4, Linux). This must be a browser bug of course, but is there anything illegal in the article? Maybe it's the image? 07:17 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Yes, it's the image:

In another tool I get a warning: Corrupt JPEG data: premature end of data segment 07:35 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I fixed Mozilla by recompiling with different options. The precompiled versions should be OK 18:29 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Information of little importance[edit]

(Moved from above)

Jefferson Davis contains a lot of information about speeches that Davis delivered in Congress. Nobody but a serious researcher would care about that information, but policy is not to delete anything useful. What is to be done? -Smack 21:27 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Is there something wrong about having info for serious research? :-) Evercat 21:30 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Not really, per se, but what I was saying is that the article has lots of information that roundly fails the "5000 people test". -Smack 01:34 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I notice that in some pages people are referred to, after the first stating of his or her name, by just his or her surname. I know that this is widely done in newspapers and so on, yet I do feel that it seems incredibly rude. As a hypothetical example, suppose that there is an article about Jane Smith. It might start as follows. Jane Smith was born in Anyville, USA in 1943 ... Fine. Yet later it might say something such as the following. Smith wrote a textbook on chemistry in the 1980s. I feel that it should say either "Jane Smith wrote a ...." or "Ms Smith wrote a ....". Is there a specific rule about this or is it just how some people write? Songwriter 10:58 6 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I don't think it's rude at all, and prefixing everyone with their titles (Ms, Mr) would sound very odd. Also, prefixes change over time, and how would we know if someone liked to be Miss or Ms? Obviously if someone has a more important title, (Dr, Sir), that should stay. I was taught to always use the full name first, "John Keats", and then to use the surname "Keats" from then on. This may just be the British style. CGS 11:23 6 Jul 2003 (UTC).
I think only the NYT and WSJ(?) uniformly add the social title anymore, and it sometimes sounds really odd - "...when Mr. Culkin entered the third grade...". Look closely at the books in your library that are less than 20 years old, you'll see very few of them using Mr. etc anymore.
Of the UK broadsheet newspapers, The Guardian and The Times both have their style guides online, and have roughly the same rule: on news pages they generally use "Mr" (etc.) except for dead people, convicted criminals, sportspeople and artists. On sports and arts pages they generally use surname alone. See: Guardian (under "Mr, Mrs, Miss, Ms"); Times (under "appellations"). I personally feel more comfortable using surname alone for encyclopedia articles, even when referring to (for example) living politicians. --rbrwr
The use of the last name without the social title (called an honorific, IIRC), seems to be rude in speech, but in writing it's quite acceptable. -Smack

since sub and sup change the spacing between lines, how about an option to give that spacing to all lines, regardless of whether they have exponents? Pizza Puzzle

Good idea - but it's an HTML issue (more precisely, it's an render issue), and nothing to do with the Wikipedia markup. You should suggest this to either W3 or the browser developers. CGS 23:44 6 Jul 2003 (UTC).

I think I already answered that question. Here:

blah blah blah blah blah blahsupscript blahsubscript blah blah blah blah blah blahsupscript blah blahsubscript blah blah blah blah blah blahsupscript blahsubscript blah blah blahsupscript blah blahsubscript

Accomplished easily using font-size and line-height style attributes. May require tweaking, if your fonts are (probably) different than mine.

-- Wapcaplet 01:07 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I would recommend highly against using absolute font sizes, as these won't scale in many browsers if the user tries to bump the page's font size up or down. Just use "line-height: 160%". --Brion 01:14 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Good point. I wouldn't personally do this at all, actually. Sub/superscripts don't bother me that much :) -- Wapcaplet 01:40 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Even if you can overcome the scaling problem, you may due with something like abc. This is not really a HTML problem, it is a stylish problem for all types of publications!!! Wshun

Help! Is there any browser out there that doesn't screw up something on wiki? IE does bizarre things to some pictures, won't go into pages over 32K (or rather chops the end off) and turns <small></small> captioned text into spidery unreadable stuff, Netscape won't recognise <small></small> at all, putting all text into the same size (which sort of f**ks up captions carefully laid out using the commands), safari is brilliant but times out after 60 seconds (which means that 4 times out of 5 lately on wiki it fails to enter a page, change a page, etc). I thought camino was fail-safe but no, now I find that it too won't accept the <small></small> command. It is as if the designers of these things all get a perverted pleasure in putting some little glitch just to annoy users. :-) Is there anything out there for a mac that doesn't chop pages, muck up captions, move around pictures or time out after a minute? FearÉIREANN 02:22 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

A minimal test page for <small> looks ok for me in Mozilla 1.4 and Camino 0.7... Can you point to a specific page that's problematic? --Brion 02:41 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Short answer: No. There is no perfect browser. But Mozilla and Opera seem to be the least prone to weirdness, in my experience. -- Wapcaplet 02:52 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I always use Mozilla 1.3 on Mac OS X. I suspect that it randomly inserts newlines sometimes in edit boxes, but pics and html and exotic fonts all seem to work fine. Stan 03:22 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Browser notes, if you haven't already. You can look for browsers with no problems reported and report the problems you have encountered not already listed there. --Ellmist 03:59 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Okay, what's the deal with self-promotion and Daniel C. Boyer? He has written his own article about himself and created articles and linked from many articles whenever some piece of his art has the same name as something else. There also appears to be some amount of promotion a female with the same name, Allison Boyer (his wife or sister, perhaps?).

Allison Boyer is my sister. With the possible exception of her being listed under surrealist poets, in my opinion to say "there also appears to be some amount of promotion" of her is inaccurate as:
  • if it is legitimate to have an article on Idealist Press International, Ltd. at all, clearly it would be appropriate to mention that she was one of the original partners in it (I am making no argument about the Idealist Press International, Ltd. article in general here)
  • she did do the illustration for "Blair House" and so would have to be mentioned if this poster-poem is mentioned in Wikipedia (your argument seems to be against the inclusion of "Blair House" in this sense rather than the mention of Allison Boyer)
--Daniel C. Boyer

Pages written by Daniel about himself and his personal projects: The Erotic Life of the Eskimo, Daniel C. Boyer, The Tailgating Spinster, List of visual artists, Idealist Press International, Ltd., Surrealist poets, Dead Man, Echo computer graphic, The Dead Man, International Union of Mail Artists, Donnelly, The Octopus Frets, and Surrealist Subversions.

While it may be appropriate to call some of these my "personal projects," clearly for others it is a flat-out lie (Idealist Press International, Ltd., in which I started out as one of the limited partners and have at times served as President, CEO and CFO, but at any rate it is not merely one of my personal projects; International Union of Mail Artists, founded by someone else long before my involvement in it; and most ridiculous of all to call one of my personal projects, Surrealist Subversions, (which I note you did not look up on in which I am just one of the contributors and it was edited and introduced by others. In my opinion a major surrealist anthology such as Surrealist Subversions hardly depends for its inclusion on my contribution). --Daniel C. Boyer
I meant that I believe you added the Idealist Press International page not because there was demand for it, but because you were involved and they published or produced your products. -- Daniel Quinlan Thu Jul 10 02:12:35 PDT 2003
You have not fully addressed my point, however, particularly with respect to Surrealist Subversions: the notion that it is my participation in it that moved me to add the page, and the more general idea that it without my participation (for which reason I so added it) it would not be in Wikipedia, are beyond ridiculous. Surrealist Subversions is a major anthology of obvious importance in the history of the Surrealist Movement in the United States, and that importance hardly stems from my contribution of two articles and a drawing. --Daniel C. Boyer 18:21 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Surrealist Subversions is perhaps the least objectionable of the pages. I'll leave leave it at that. I think most of the other pages would have been better placed on your own personal page. --Daniel Quinlan Fri Jul 11 13:56:36 PDT 2003

Pages where he has added references to his stuff which seem to vastly overinflate his relative importance in the world. I don't really have a grudge against the man, but these are really silly:

I may have missed some stuff (he has also done some edits when not logged into his account). So, is it okay for people to use Wiki as advertising for themselves and their own works? -- Dan at

Generally people aren't allowed to advertise their own works, but clearly there has to be a point where a person is famous enough to be in Wikipedia, and their being a Wikipedian shouldn't detract from that. We decided some time ago that Daniel Boyer is important enough. There are a handful of others in his position, but it is very rare. See User talk:Daniel C. Boyer. -- Tim Starling 05:58 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)
It's clearly advertizing, especially for the latter list of places where he's added his stuff to pre-existing articles. I guarantee that nobody looking up Blair House is looking for his products. At the very least, I think some sort of reality check is needed. He has links for individual works of his whereas even extremely well known artists rarely get that treatment. If this stuff was listed on a personal page, I think it would be fine, it should even be sufficient for his ego, but putting it all over the place is clearly trying to generate traffic (again, especially for the latter list of real articles, the ficticious articles are not necessarily as bad). -- Dan at
I don't understand your meaning opposing "real articles" to "fictitious articles". --Daniel C. Boyer
"real" meaning "Of or founded on practical matters and concerns", "Genuine and authentic; not artificial or spurious", etc. "fictitious" was perhaps the wrong word to use, but my point was that there would be little or no demand for the articles outside of your own desire to create them. -- Daniel Quinlan Thu Jul 10 02:12:35 PDT 2003
You can remove references to him in Blair House, 1994 in film, etc. at your discretion. Of course he should not appear more important than he really is due to his own self-promotion. But we decided that he's allowed in the main namespace, so you probably won't find much support for the deletion of articles such as Daniel C. Boyer or The Erotic Life of the Eskimo. You're welcome to try, of course -- you can list them on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion if you feel strongly about it, but be aware that we have discussed this issue before. -- Tim Starling 14:13 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Works for me. -- Daniel Quinlan Thu Jul 10 02:12:35 PDT 2003

Hi, today Wikipedia is EXTREMELY slow (sometimes 5 Minutes to show a page). I tried it from Germany, I also tried it from Holland, Always the same (over the whole day...) Is there a Server-Problem? Thanks, Fantasy 18:54 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)

slow page loads is an ongoing problem of Wikipedia. I noticed a slight problem for a few minutes, but it has since passed. It's something I have gotten used to. It would be nice for someone to isolate the problem :). MB 19:21 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I've had the same problem lately. I'm placed in Norway. In France one week ago, through a pay-to-surf, I wasn't even able to load the mainpage. 19:32 7 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I personally don't have so big problems with it. But it is specially embarrasing, when you show a "possible" new Wikipedian the page, and after some minutes you have to look for excuses... I think we loose a lot of future Wikipedians by this problem... Fantasy 07:11 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
The answer is that we need both more servers, and more optimisation of the Wikipedia code. The first takes money, the second takes time. -- The Anome 07:28 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
If the money is a problem, I am ready to contribute. How can that be done? Fantasy 07:35 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Talk to Jimbo; he's in the process of getting a non-profit org set up to manage this stuff, but I don't think it's quite yet in a position to accept donations.

PS: is there a way to donate money to the developers (eg. functions implemented...)? I have the feeling, improving Wikipedia has also some "value"...
I personally will be happy to take your money. :) However I'm not in a position to commit to new tasks presently; in my spare time I'm just trying to keep things running and, hopefully, get the software upgrades and database updates installed all around. You can try to tantalize other developers with WikiMoney or offer something a little more tangible for new developments. --Brion 07:45 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Can we disable searching again? That seemed to help last time... Martin
I've got it in title-search-only mode for the moment. It also may be faster to switch to mysql's boolean search mode, particularly for multi-word searches. --Brion 09:35 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I have tried using & mdash for dashes, but get "&mdash" (no quotes) in the article, not a dash. So far I ma using "--" Thanks for any info. User:Dino

It displays correctly on my browser, even though it's not valid HTML -- try it with a semicolon: &mdash; becomes "—". -- Tim Starling 02:28 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Same thing on my browser (Mozilla 1.4, Linux). The &mdash; entity is replaced by empty space. I read somewhere that authors are supposed to use the unicode reference &#8212;, but that's annoying to type (and edit). Double-hyphen is probably the safest thing to do (perhaps the Wiki-code script interpreter thingy can be made to convert double-hyphens to a proper em dash?) -- Wapcaplet 16:22 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Possible GNU Free Documentation License infringement[edit]

User:Oliver Pereira has pointed out on Talk:Galileo Galilei that the "Malaspina Great Books" website is including content from wikipedia but claiming copyright to it. Please see Talk:Galileo Galilei for more information. MB 14:48 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Would someone with sysop status look at Chicago School, Tanzanite and their Talk: pages please. Thank you. Kpjas 09:16 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

List them both on Wikipedia:Votes for deletion -- Tim Starling 09:42 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Now what do all the important recent deaths on Main Page have in common? (Although to be fair, I've heard of Barry White) jimfbleak 16:51 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

They are all dead?  ;) MB 18:13 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Feel free to add people you've heard of, when they die. If everyone does that, things should even out more, eventually... -- Oliver P. 18:39 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I've lost an article. I was reading about the cafe wall illusion, went away to knock up a quick picture of the effect, and have now lost the article. I can't find it with a search, or from the optical illusion article, or even in the deletion log. It mentioned why it is called the "café wall illusion" and who first discovered it - that's all I remember. Possibly it doesn't exist and I am just going crazy (er). Any help appreciated -- sannse 19:50 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Café wall illusion Don't suppose it was this one..? Seems most likely (apart from one minor detail about the article), out of all articles containing "wall", "illusion" and either "cafe" or "café", returned by google on Wikipædia... كسيپ Cyp 20:08 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
No, it was an English article. Oh well, thanks for looking - I must have imagined it -- sannse 20:21 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)
In any case, it's in English now, since I tested my translation program on the French version. كسيپ Cyp 20:23 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Related pages: Mailing lists - IRC - IM a Wikipedian - Talk pages - Reference desk[edit]

Welcome, newcomers and baffled oldtimers! If you have a question about Wikipedia and how it works, please place it at the bottom of the list, and someone will attempt to answer it for you. (If you have a question about life, the universe and everything, go to the reference desk instead.)

Before asking a question, check if it's answered by the Wikipedia:FAQ or other pages linked from Wikipedia:Help.

NOTE - questions and answers will not remain on this page indefinitely (otherwise it would very soon become too long to be editable). After a period of time with no further activity, information will be moved to other relevant sections of the wikipedia (such as the FAQ pages) or placed in the Wikipedia:Village pump archive if it is of general interest, or deleted. Please consider dating and titling your discussions so as to facilitate this.

Is there some reason why the orphan pages list is not being updated, it is still from May 13th. -- SGBailey 22:44 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Two reasons: 1. Because updating the list makes the server stop responding for a few minutes. 2. Because updating needs developer access, and developers tend to be eternally busy with other things. Why do you want it updated? It only shows the top 125, so it's pretty useless anyway. -- Tim Starling 23:54 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Could we get the list from a (very recent) database backup, instead of using the live database? CGS 08:30 9 Jul 2003 (UTC).

Reason 1 is why it isn't live - fine. Reason 2 is pragmatic/practical. I want it updated so that I can see what things I know about that I can un-orphan. If it were a static list, it could easily be 1000 entries long without causing a problem - then if that static list were updated say once a week or better still once a day it could be worked on. That wouldn't be useless. As it is, it may as well be removed from the special pages dropdown. -- SGBAiley 2003-07-09 17:36 BST

In light of recently discovered GFDL violations in regards to wikipedia, I have created 2 new pages. Wikipedia:Standard GFDL violation letter, and Wikipedia:Sites that use Wikipedia as a source. The first will be a template for letters sent to violators that all wikipedians can contribute to, and to make it easier for us to respond to violations. The second page will be helpful, because since any derivative of works from wikipedia must be released under the GFDL, we can harvest them in the future for information. Could anyone suggest to me where these 2 pages should be linked to from? MB 23:36 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I'm going to drop a brief description into the text of Wikipedia:Sites that use Wikipedia as a source. Should we link to this from the list of public-domain sources we can use? Vicki Rosenzweig
Great idea, MB. Vicki, I've linked as you suggest. -- Tarquin 09:23 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I want to write freeware encyclopedia based on Wikipedia articles. Can I do it? I don't want to make source of my application open (in opposite to content which will be open).

From Wikipedia:Copyrights:
"Wikipedia content can be copied, modified, and redistributed so long as the new version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges Wikipedia as the source." So, any articles you create in your freeware encyclopedia should follow these rules. This doesn't apply to things like your code, which are not derived from wikipedia. Now, I don't know about the wikipedia code (or if you were planning on using it), but I am pretty sure the same rules apply to it as well. I hope this helps. MB 17:02 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Yep - the unnamed Wikipedia software is under the GNU GPL. --mav

Wikipedia will not convert L'Arc~En~Ciel to a link. Example from Rurouni Kenshin. Submit a bug report?

Emperorbma 19:24 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Don't know why ~ is an invalid character in a link, but it seems to be one anyway... Changed link to [[L'Arc En Ciel|L'Arc~En~Ciel]], which looks like L'Arc~En~Ciel. كسيپ Cyp 21:30 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Emperorbma 03:35 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Copied from Wikipedia talk:Standard GFDL violation letter[edit]

I saw the page which this page discusses in the recent changes list and had a look. In fact, I have an enquiry concerning licensing which I would like to raise and was wondering how best to do it. In the event, this page might be a good way to start the enquiry.

I notice that the letters have "Dear Website owner's name here,

We're delighted to see that your website, web page here, uses content from Wikipedia"

Now, the letters both presume the use is in a website.

I have an idea for content from Wikipedia to be used on broadcast channels, broadcast using the Digital Video Broadcasting - Multimedia Home Platform system (DVB-MHP) of which technology there is a lot of information in the webspace and the webspace.

I am hoping that that idea will get taken up by broadcasters and to make that possibility one step easier I am hoping that I can find a clear statement that such use for broadcasting is permitted. From reading the license document my own thinking is that use for broadcasting is fine, yet such reading and thinking does not carry the provenance of an explicit statement on a web page to which I can refer people.

Due to issues of provenance of information which will arise with broadcasting I am thinking more of the nupedia project for the long term, though the licensing seems the same yet I am unsure as to how much of nupedia is available at present.

If this is not the correct place for this topic, please feel free to delete it or move it.

Songwriter 22:55 9 Jul 2003 (UTC)

It is my understanding that as long as you a) credit Wikipedia as the source and b) provide a clear means for the reader to find Wikipedia's site so they can access the source (ie the raw editable wikitext), then it's fine -- Tarquin 08:58 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I'm not sure that this is accurate. I believe all derived works must be released under the GFDL. MB 19:28 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Thanks to you both. Although a broadcaster could use the text 'as is', one possibility, (which would, in fact, not alter the wording of articles, yet which, in a like manner to a translation would be a modification of the article), would be to use colour codes rather than the sequence of two [ characters in an article.

I have produced a set of possible colour codes and these are to be found in the following web page.

The font Quest text has authoring-time logos for the code points used for colours, based on the Petra Sancta system often used in black and white illustrations in books about heraldry. Thus the colour characters can be viewed in a black and white display in a text editor such as WordPad when using the Quest text font at authoring time, with the intention that when the file is displayed upon the screen of an interactive television the logos are not displayed yet the colour of the text changes.

The Quest text font is available as follows.

Readers might find the SC UniPad program useful as well.

The need to make the modified file GFDL licensed is an important consideration. For me, such licensing is not a problem, so hopefully in the future files of text from Wikipedia and Nupedia will be broadcast from terrestrial television transmitters and from direct broadcast television satellites so that they can be viewed on interactive television sets, with no need for a telephone line connection or any return information link back to the broadcasting computer.

Songwriter 06:48 11 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Redirect as Wiklinks & readability[edit]

Whenever we encounter a redirect Wikilink, we should (but don't have to) change it to say, [[rectangle|rectangular]] instead of [[rectangular]]? (Such as here)

Doesn't indirect-direct ([[rectangle|rectangular]]) impede readability for (copy)editors?

--Menchi 20:49 12 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The article Chives doesn't look right in Mozilla. The separation line cuts the right-hand size table into halves. It is not the only articles with such problem. Wshun

This behavior seems to be triggered by going into standards compliant mode... if I break the doctype to put it in quirks mode, the <hr> will not pass through the floated box. Hopefully there's a sane way to work around this. :P
Bug is listed at bugzilla, supposedly there's a patch in the works.
As a workaround, I've patched our JavaScript bits to hack the CSS to revert just <hr> to the quirks mode handling if you're running a Gecko-based browser. :P Hit reload to get the new code. --Brion 04:32 10 Jul 2003 (UTC)